By Rhys Davies, Armstrong Watson Skipton

WE HAVE all heard many of the following phrases when discussing the requirement to have an audit:

‘We have to have one’ ‘It’s just an overhead’ ‘A necessary evil’ ‘A box-ticking exercise’

But what if the audit process can really add ‘value’ to your business?

There are many ways in which an audit can really benefit you and your business, with just a few as follows:

The first, easiest, but often missed item is simply better communication – both in terms of frequency and quality of interaction. It’s astounding how few advisers are actually having the right commercial conversations with their clients. This is often either a function of time or the inability or unwillingness to ask the right questions.

By meeting regularly with our clients and having the right kind of conversations, we’re in no doubt as to their long term ambitions. This allows us to align the audit process with those long term goals and turn it into a genuinely value-adding process.

An in depth review of the internal control environment and corporate governance structure with subsequent improvements reduces the perception of risk to a prospective buyer in those instances, while simultaneously assuring quality control with the business’ wider networks.

An audit can provide recommendations on the business’ current management information and an acute understanding of the business’ key profitability drivers. Great management information can be used to actively manage and drive improved business performance.

Perception and compliance not be exciting but, in this context, is hugely important. Ensuring that the process surrounding the audit is efficient and completed in a timely manner allows the business to benefit from audited accounts being published earlier and the subsequent commercial advantages to be realised.

These are just a limited number of examples as to how an audit can really benefit your business. If you’d like hear more about the many other ways in which and audit can add value please give me call on 07928 706823 or email