As your business grows, your needs will become more complex and specialised, perhaps so much so that your auditor no longer suits your organisation.
But how do you find the firm that is right for you?
Understanding what you need
Before you change auditor, you need to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons to ensure you don’t put yourself at a disadvantage later down the road.
Sometimes it’s rather obvious that you have outgrown your auditor’s capabilities, but other times, there are only a few subtle signs that it’s time to reevaluate your relationship.
Common scenarios when a business needs a different auditor include when they need:
- more resources
- deeper technical knowledge
- wider geographic reach
- stronger communication with their auditor
- more attention paid to the organisation’s unique circumstances.You shouldn’t switch auditors solely because of cost, as their fees reflect the value their work brings to your firm. Of course, if the value they’re providing isn’t satisfactory, that’s a different question.
How to choose the right auditor for your firm
Finding the right audit firm for your business isn’t easy. It’s challenging because, broadly speaking, a lot of auditors may seem right for you. Every auditor worth their salt is committed to their independence, and they will be able to tackle the technical aspects of audit for a reasonable fee.
But the best auditors will go above and beyond for you and your organisation. They will help you anticipate what’s round the corner, for instance, identifying opportunities and mitigating risks.
They might also tailor their services to your industry, and will certainly stay in regular contact with you.
So, think about your priorities, write them down and read what auditors have to say for themselves on their website. Pay particularly attention to what they say about their processes – do they promise to be unobtrusive? To coordinate an action plan with you? To write an audit report with recommendations?
Then, read reviews. Who you see leaving reviews might tell you just as much about their suitability for you as the contents of the reviews!
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them, either. This is the easiest way to get all the information you need. It’s also easier to judge whether an auditor actually thinks they will be able to help you if you’re talking to them, as opposed to reading their website copy.
Lastly, every auditor will claim to be responsive, so test it by sending an email. How long did it take for them to reply to a potential client? It might reflect on how long it’ll take for them to get in contact with you as a paying one.
Transitioning to a new firm
Changing auditors can represent a business opportunity, but only if the transition is smooth.
First, you need to make sure all your organisation’s stakeholders are on board with the change, and that there is a mutual understanding between them and the new audit firm.
You might also want to ask your new auditor if they have experience taking on businesses that are changing auditors. The transition will be far easier to follow through with if they do.
Finally, cultivate a good rapport with your new auditor. They’ll be taking on a lot of new work and responsibility by working with you, and forming a positive relationship with them will make them a great partner for your business.
Reassure them that you appreciate their services and are happy for them agreeing to help your business.
Talk to us about your business.