BlackLine Home page BlackLine home page
Solutions
Solutions
Financial Close Management
Financial Close Management
Overview
Overview
Account Reconciliations
Account Reconciliations
Task Management
Task Management
Transaction Matching
Transaction Matching
Journal Entry
Journal Entry
Compliance
Compliance
Variance Analysis
Variance Analysis
Smart Close for SAP
Smart Close for SAP
Accounts Receivable Automation
Accounts Receivable Automation
Overview
Overview
Cash Application
Cash Application
Credit & Risk Management
Credit & Risk Management
Collections Management
Collections Management
Disputes & Deductions
Disputes & Deductions
Team & Task Management
Team & Task Management
AR Intelligence
AR Intelligence
Intercompany Financial Management
Intercompany Financial Management
Overview
Overview
BlackLine Intercompany
BlackLine Intercompany
By Organization Size
By Organization Size
Midsize Organizations
Midsize Organizations
Large Enterprises
Large Enterprises
By Industry
By Industry
Banking & Financial Services
Banking & Financial Services
Consumer Products & Services
Consumer Products & Services
Energy & Raw Materials
Energy & Raw Materials
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Healthcare & Life Sciences
Manufacturing
Manufacturing
Retail
Retail
Technology, Media & Communications
Technology, Media & Communications
See All Industries
By ERP
By ERP
SAP
SAP
Oracle
Oracle
Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite
Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics
See All ERPs
Customers
Customers
Customer Success
Success Stories
Success Stories
Collaborative Accounting Experience
Collaborative Accounting Experience
Modern Accounting Playbook
Modern Accounting Playbook
Training & Education
Training & Education
CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Global Support
Global Support
Developer Portal
Developer Portal
BlackLine Community
BlackLine Community
Resources
Resources
Events
Events
Upcoming Webinars
Upcoming Webinars
On-Demand Webinars
On-Demand Webinars
White Papers
White Papers
Blog
Blog
Accounting Glossary
Accounting Glossary
Global Support
Global Support
About
About
Company
Company
About BlackLine
About BlackLine
Leadership
Leadership
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
In the News
In the News
Press Releases
Press Releases
Investors
Investors
Awards & Recognition
Awards & Recognition
Careers
Careers
Partners
Partners
Consulting Alliances
Consulting Alliances
Solution Provider Partners
Solution Provider Partners
Software & Cloud Partners
Software & Cloud Partners
Business Process Outsourcers
Business Process Outsourcers

How to Make Integrated Audit Even More Unified

image

3-minute read

Although “integrated” is in the name, integrated audit can sometimes defy its name—especially if accounting processes are manual and disparate.

Let’s back up. What is integrated audit?

Integrated audit combines the financial statement audit with the audit of internal controls. For public companies, Sarbanes-Oxley requires auditors to assess the existence, maintenance, and effectiveness of internal controls. One of the auditor’s objectives during an integrated audit is to express their opinion of a company’s controls over financial reporting.

Although this is not required for smaller and private companies, auditors may choose to use an integrated approach in anticipation of growth or acquisition, or to save time on substantive testing.

You may be thinking, well obviously—integrated audit is a no-brainer. However, integrated audit is not as standard or well-executed as it may seem.

The Current State of Integrated Audits

Think about all those companies who very well may be taking a one-audit-at-a-time approach. Auditors come in to focus on different areas at different times. For example, auditors may choose to look at the operational side of controls, then the IT side, and then consider how they play into financial reporting. Each audit costs Accounting time and money.

If you’re using an integrated approach, consider how disparate your processes and even company locations are. If you’re performing a reconciliation that requires a journal entry, you may be storing a copy of that journal in the journal entry binder, and another copy of the reconciliation in a separate reconciliation binder.

You and your auditor have to hunt down each binder, make copies, and then potentially track that binder down again if something is missed. We’ve all had that staff auditor tiptoe back into our office asking to see a binder for the second time: “I thought I just needed to see signoffs, but I need supporting documentation as well.” Although an innocent oversight, this disrupts workflows and creates redundancies.

Or, if you’re a global company with physical audit evidence at different locations, you may find your auditors traveling between offices or wasting Accounting’s time scanning in binders of evidence.

Under these conditions, integrated audit certainly isn’t integrated. Even if your intention is to perform the financial statement audit with internal controls, how do you combat disjointed workflows and add more efficiency throughout the process?

A Self-Service Model

With a unified, cloud-based platform like BlackLine, the close tasks, reconciliations, journal entries, and controls required during an integrated audit are stored in one globally accessible location. Evidence of preparation and review, supporting documentation, and substantive elements for a reconciliation and/or journal entry, for example, are bundled together and ripe for the integrated audit approach.

Accounting can even give auditors controlled, read-only access to their work so that auditors can pull control evidence and evaluate the substantive side without having to bother Accounting.

Pick any completed reconciliation or journal entry and see everything you need—reconciling items, signoffs, supporting documentation—without having to sift through multiple binders. Additionally, BlackLine can be accessed from anywhere at any time, so when the auditor wants to work on Saturday, Accounting doesn’t have to.

And if that staff auditor forgets to look at supporting documentation? Accounting is not interrupted. The auditor can go into the system themselves to pull supporting evidence because everything they need is stored in one centralized system. This leads to a self-service model that makes integrated audit more efficient and truer to its name.

Read this blog to learn more about how to bridge the gap between Accounting and Internal Audit.