Getting audited is kind of like going to the dentist. You know it’s a good thing, but it’s still a painful time drain—even when there’s nothing amiss. And one of the most painful parts of an audit is all the time you spend hunting down information that auditors request. You burn hours digging through transactions to find the ones supporting out-of-the-ordinary metrics, canvassing the office to find out who changed a transaction and why, or searching through e-mails to recollect the reason for an odd-ball journal entry.
In light of all the changes that occur in your financials day by day, how can you be expected to have the information you need at your fingertips without a lot of help from your financial system? Like any system, Sage Intacct has the financial reports you need for your audits, but it goes beyond that by attacking the problem of ready visibility from three directions.
Visualization with Drill Down
First, Sage Intacct solves the problem of immediate access to auditable information with role-based, drillable dashboards that can be configured specifically to handle an audit. A dashboard generally shows visualizations such as performance cards (key metrics that summarize account groups), financial reports, and financial charts. Other types of components can be added to a dashboard, but these are the main ones you would use to create the transparency needed for an audit.
From a dashboard, you can drill down to the full reports behind the metrics and even to the transactions themselves. And in a multi-entity organization, you can drill-down across entities. Rather than jumping all over the financial system or multiple files trying to find what it is that makes something like current year expenses higher than expected, you can just drill down on the expense metrics and see all the GL information going into that number.
In fact, drill-down capabilities go beyond the GL transaction that’s posted. Because Sage Intacct links related transactions, you could drill beyond a GL to the bill, vendor invoice, fulfillment document (receiver), purchase order, and purchase requisition that led to the expense. The same structure also exists on the purchasing side.
Automated Audit Trails
Second, Sage Intacct builds a continuous audit trail on transactions. No more wondering when a transaction changed or what it was changed from. The audit trail shows what a field value was before, what it was changed to, when it was changed, and who changed it. This effectively eliminates speculation and keeps the organization GAAP compliant.
The audit trail even extends to changes in process. For example, if you change the rules around your purchasing workflow, the audit trail records includes that change. For example, you might create a second version of a vendor invoice just for services. Later on when the auditor notices a difference in how expenses are being accounted for, you can see an audit trail of what, when, and who that quickly answers questions.
Documenting the Why
Third, because auditors aren’t always satisfied with knowing what was done and when, Sage Intacct provides a collaborative compliance tool for you to capture why something was done. Essentially, Sage Intacct Collaborate is internal messaging that gets permanently stored in the context of the record it relates to.
Let’s go back to that odd-ball journal entry mentioned above. Perhaps on the day it’s created, let’s call it a penalty adjustment, the controller notices it and right in the journal entry record adds a comment like “@jsmith, what is this entry about?” J. Smith can reply back with something like, “this is for a group of penalties we incurred that weren’t handled through A/P. I’ve attached a spreadsheet here showing the penalty schedule.” And right there with the comment is the attached spreadsheet.
Eleven months later in an audit, the controller can pull up the transaction, with the permanently stored conversation and the attached penalty schedule. She can answer an auditor’s questions about not only what was done and when it was done, but why it was done.
By combining deep financial capabilities with instant visibility and access, Sage Intacct reduces the cost and pain of audits. You can find out more at:
[ Published: July 18, 2017 ]