Every auditor works a little differently with their clients. Choosing the right one for your organization relies on how you prefer to handle this relationship. One auditor might visit you in person, whereas another might never see your face, but both provide excellent service. It all depends on how they work and where they’re located.
Where in the world are your auditors?
Until online tools like Dropbox, QuickBooks, and AppFolio became readily available, organizations were mostly limited to choosing a nearby accounting firm. These days, CPA firms handle clients from all over the country and even around the world!
When looking for an auditor, ask your organization leaders if they prefer to hire a local firm or if they would feel comfortable having the accounting done remotely. Seek bids from local, regional, and out-of-state auditors for more options and better understanding of fees.
Just because an auditor comes from your area doesn’t mean they will provide better service.
Accounting in the cloud or in the building?
Auditors used to spend so much more time on-site with a client to gather information because they had to do everything in person: from testing disbursements to finalizing financial statements. Now, auditing firms can access documents like the general ledger, bank statements, and reconciliations from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need for a CPA to visit the organization at all.
However, the trade-off for less hassle is less personal attention. Your organization may value face-to-face conversations because it allows you to make specific requests that a larger, distant firm might never hear. If that’s the case, you may want to consider hiring a firm that’s a little closer to home.
Best of both worlds
Some CPA firms, like Lemler Group, take a balanced approach to performing audits. When possible, these firms will request access to documents ahead of time to begin the initial phase of the audit from their office. Then, they schedule a few days to work in the organization, ask questions, and give advice.
This approach allows auditors to come prepared with specific questions and a detailed game plan to be in and out with as little interruption as possible.
Service the way you need it
In the end, your choice of auditor should reflect the unique needs of your organization. If the hassle of having an auditor camp out in your building for a week is too much to handle, you shouldn’t have to settle for a CPA firm that insists on auditing in that way.
Your preference matters most because you’re the one paying for service.
Want to learn more? Check out our blog series on how to choose an auditor.