Joanne Seeds – Making Sense of Numbers!

Are Auditors really the bad guy?  Why do we need them anyway?

In a perfect world, where no one makes mistakes and no one is trying to rip companies off, there would be no need for Auditors.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

We are human beings, and as humans, we are prone to make mistakes.   Software is always changing, as are the complex processes.  Technological advances are changing quicker than we can adjust to them.

On top of that, there have been changes in the controls required for financial records such as ISO, SOX and International Financial Reporting Standards  (IFRS) to name a few.

How does the average company keep up with all these changes?

The Auditors are people, just like us, trained to ensure that proper accounting standards are being used.

Instead of looking at Auditors as a threat, let’s change our view.

Could they be our long lost friend here to help us over our hurdles?  Let’s think about that for a moment.

Auditors are there to help us improve the accuracy of our financial results, find the weak points so that we can move the company forward with less risk, create robust procedures to help save time and money, increase our knowledge and understanding around financial results, and keep us up to date on revisions to regulations and legislative changes.

These are all things that are good for the corporation, right?

That is great – the Auditors are there to help us, BUT they still make us look bad.  And as a result, we feel bad about ourselves.

A past boss had a great way of looking at the mistakes we all make.  He simply stated ‘that it was more important to find the problems, resolve them and put in steps so that they didn’t happen again’.  What a great way to look at it!

Don’t try to place blame.   Take ownership if need be, but more importantly move forward to resolving the issue and plan to minimize the error in the future.

This is true with the Auditors, it is not personal, and we should learn from our mistakes.

Auditors help us improve and increase our knowledge base, so that in the future we can produce better results with less risk to the company.

The cold hard truth is:  that we are not perfect, and we don’t all live and breathe Accounting 24/7.

We need Auditors because we make mistakes.