Your Complete Guide to an Accounts Payable Audit (And How Software Can Streamline the Process)
From time to time, every company has to conduct an accounts payable audit. This isn’t a bad thing – audits ensure that your financial statements are in order – but it can certainly be a major expense. Not only will you have to put day-to-day tasks on the back burner to organize your documentation, but you’ll likely be paying your auditor by the hour – potentially losing hundreds of dollars every time you have to stop and search for a file.
That’s where IntelliChief’s AP automation software comes in. With all your financial documents neatly organized and instantly accessible, audit preparation is no trouble at all. You can give your auditor access to any computer with Internet access, and they can access any necessary files or sample transactions on demand.
Planning for an Accounts Payable Audit
Audit preparation becomes easier when you know what your auditor will be looking for. They typically check for:
- Duplicate payments
- Inflated invoices
- Wire transfer fraud
- Fraudulent use of company credit cards
- Unrecorded liabilities
During an accounts payable audit, you’ll need to provide your auditor with access to all of the bills you paid throughout the year. You may also need to provide supporting documentation, such as invoices and purchase orders.
If your audit encompasses more than just your accounts payable department, you may need to provide other documents as well. During a complete financial audit, you’ll be called upon to provide your internal financial statements, equity certificates, bank notes, lease agreements, fiscal year budget, and accounting procedures manual.
SOX Audit Requirements
SOX audits, which are required for all publicly traded companies in the United States, have their own unique checklists. The Sarbanes Oxley Act requires you to prove the accuracy of your financial data through an internal controls report. You’ll need to provide information for your:
- Network and database activity
- Login activity
- Account activity
- User activity
- Information access history
During a Sarbanes Oxley audit, you’ll also need to provide documentation for your internal controls. This can include information about your organization’s access controls, backup systems, and IT security procedures.
While certain financial audits can be performed internally, you’ll need to hire an independent auditor for your SOX audit.
How Electronic Records Can Streamline the AP Audit Process
With IntelliChief’s electronic document management system, AP audits have never been easier. Instead of manually locating all of your financial documents, you’ll already have them neatly organized, searchable by any criteria, and instantly retrievable. Your auditor will have a comprehensive paper trail for every transaction that’s come through your accounts payable department, significantly streamlining the audit process.
IntelliChief also helps you maintain full compliance with the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Because documents are only accessible to users with validated credentials, your sensitive data has never been more secure. This puts an end to costly noncompliance penalties.
After your audit is complete, you’ll be able to review your auditor’s findings within a simple, user-friendly dashboard. You can then create comprehensive reports for your C-suite, investors, and financial advisors.
Ready to make your next accounts payable audit your easiest one yet? Contact IntelliChief to learn more about our AP automation software. We can help you implement a custom solution for streamlining your financial reviews.