August SBM LogoIt might be time for your company to have an audit, but do you know why? Karen Stern, Partner in Charge of the Entrepreneurial Services Group, discusses the questions to ask, as well as your options in lieu of an audit, in this month’s “Financial Fitness,” as featured in Small Business Monthly.

Why is your company requesting an audit? Many businesses approach accounting firms for an audit without an understanding of what an audit can, or will, do for them. An audit is not designed to detect fraud or provide assurance on financial statements outside the audit period, but there are plenty of instances in which an audit can benefit your business.

Whether you’re satisfying a compliance requirement or focusing on improving your business, a full-service audit approach can meet your business needs. An audit can be performed for a variety of reasons. It offers assurance to your interested parties, is frequently needed to meet regulatory requirements and may be required by your bank in response to debt issuance. Auditors can also provide valuable information that is key to operational performance and success and keep you in the loop on best practices and emerging issues in your industry.

If there is concern about various aspects of your business’s financial records, in lieu of a formal audit, an accounting professional can provide opportunities for improvement through a number of services. Compilations, reviews and agreed-upon procedures, among other services, can meet specific objectives and are much more cost-effective, in both time and dollars.

If you have questions about whether an audit can benefit your business, contact your business advisor or Steve Schueppert, partner in charge of the Brown Smith Wallace Audit Services Practice, at 314-983-1251 or sschueppert@bswll.com.