Stay in business long enough and it’s bound to happen. Despite its reputation, however, an audit doesn’t have to be a stressful and tedious experience. As John Adams once famously mused, “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” An audit is no exception.
The financial reporting process can affect your business from the top down. But that comprehensive nature can also reveal aspects of your business that might have gone unnoticed otherwise.
Leadingham Rodgers has you covered on all three levels of assurance: audit, review, and compilation. With a team of certified public accountants, you’ll come through your audit stronger and with more opportunities for growth than before.
Surviving an audit can come down to these handy tips.
Review the Letter
Once you receive your audit letter, it’s best to tackle it straight away. Wish though we might that delay or evasion will derail the process, such tactics will only backfire. The IRS is not going away.
Review the audit letter with a trusted CPA and take careful note of the information being requested. The sooner you respond, the sooner the audit can be completed.
Review your Tax Documents
This is mostly a job for your trusted tax professional. If you’ve filed on your own behalf, you should consider hiring a tax professional or CPA to help you scrutinize your tax returns.
A review of how you arrived at the listed figures will not only help you with the next step (document preparation) but will also provide you with a refresher of your process. This can make all the difference when meeting with the auditor.
Without this step, you run the risk of appearing unprepared. Forgetting–or worse, guessing at–how you arrived at this or that number is not a good look.
Prepare your Records
Under the guidance of your CPA, compile and arrange all necessary records from the last fiscal year. Bank statements, accounting ledgers, receipts and invoices, and tax prep materials (to name a few) should be included along with the specific information mentioned in the audit letter itself.
A well-ordered packet of records can solve a lot of problems. With the help of a CPA, you should be able to accurately predict the scope and focus of the necessary records.
Meet the Auditor
The best attitude to present when meeting with an auditor is “helpful”–but not overly so.
You are the star witness to the financial propriety of your business, and when you’re on the proverbial stand, you’ll want to answer only what you’re asked without providing unnecessary information which may raise further questions.
Your records should do most of the talking.
Trust your Professional
The best audit is one you never have. The second best audit is one that’s over quickly. A trusted professional can streamline the process, act as your representative, and free you up for other business.
Your trusted CPA may also minimize your tax liability for the next year. They can streamline your bookkeeping, review budgets and risk management, and even suggest payroll software and cloud services to modernize your records.
With a CPA from Leadingham Rodgers, an audit is exactly as John Adams said–an opportunity (if heavily disguised).
Learn more about what Leadingham Rodgers can help you with today!
In the event of an audit, hiring a CPA can help you survive. But avoiding an audit in the first place requires the kind of constant vigilance only a dedicated and long term CPA can provide. Don’t wait for the audit to come to your door. Anticipate it and cut it off at the pass with a trusted professional from Leadingham Rodgers. Call (334) 270-3366 today and fear the audit no more.