For example, one auditor may request a copy of the July bank statement and supporting documentation in order to test the cash balance. Another auditor may be testing property, plant and equipment and request the same bank statement to validate a purchase of some new equipment that was added during the year. Employees may not know if that particular bank statement was already given to one of the audit staff and could think it is lost. Sometimes even the auditors don’t realize that one of their own team members has the same document they are seeking. Audits can become overwhelming and very time consuming.
Another frustration that comes up during the audit process is having the accounting staff stop their normal activities to answer questions. If the bank statement doesn’t have the appropriate backup, there may be follow up questions. There is a lot of back and forth between accounting staff and audit staff, making the overall audit process quite lengthy.
BlackLine’s Financial Close Suite makes audits easier with two types of auditor roles, internal and external, which give auditors immediate access to account reconciliations, supporting documentation, certification details, variance analysis and other close-related items. In addition, a provided by client (PBC) list can be uploaded into the application and both the accounting and audit teams can see what has been submitted, who it was submitted to, supporting documents and what is outstanding, which eliminates duplicate requests and lost paperwork, and reduces the number of questions.
Learn more about BlackLine’s Financial Close Suite and how we can make the audit process easier.