'They're Here...' How to Survive an Audit

Opiela, Nancy
November 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Nov2002, Vol. 15 Issue 11, p52
Academic Journal
This article offers advice on audit preparation and survival. The first impulse for many planners who had advance notice of the audit was to reach out to colleagues who had been through an audit. In addition to moral support, these planners offered the soon-to-be-audited answers to their most pressing questions. Most important in the preparation stage, however, is to allocate the time necessary to gather all the information requested in advance. And, in concentrating on these documents, do not overlook a quick fix. On audit day, planners say it is important to set an appropriate professional tone. Of course, the key to a successful audit happens long before the response to the knock at the door. For many smaller firms without compliance managers, the responsibility for staying up-to-date with changing regulations and requirements falls on the planner. Some planners use consultants to conduct mock audits. It is non-threatening. In addition to having a compliance manager, the best way to be sure is with a trial run. With the down market providing a backdrop, many planners have noticed a recent focus on consumer protection. In general, planners seemed to appreciate the thoroughness of the audit and none described the experience as adversarial. In fact, in many cases, planners report that their business was stronger as a result of the experience.


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