Audit and Accounting - Questions to Ask When Choosing an Auditor
We understand that cost is an important factor when choosing an auditor, but cost should not be the only factor. Although a final audit report uses the common language and similar formats, not all audits are created equally. The following are other considerations that the Boards should consider when choosing an auditor.
In conclusion, we believe that Holbrook & Manter provides the best value and the highest quality for attestation services. A public accounting firm that must compete solely on price considers audits to be a commodity and not the partnership relationship that we strive to have with all our clients. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your situation and unique needs and the attributes we believe make us the single best choice for your audit.
Is the fee too low for the size and complexity of the business?
Unusually low fees should raise concerns that the auditor may be inexperienced or that not all the required audit procedures will be performed. Are there any other fees not included in the quote such as mileage or travel costs?
Is the auditor proactive and does the auditor make the business aware of new accounting and auditing standards?
U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards are constantly changing. It is important that your auditor is informing you of new standards and accounting practices. Holbrook & Manter communicates new standards and accounting practices in two documents that always accompany our audit reports:
- The required communication letter to the Board, which identifies new accounting principles and auditing standards implemented during the year.
- The management letter which mentions future standards and accounting principles along with other recommendations to improve the controls of the business.
Is the auditor responsive to your needs?
Is the auditor attentive to what is important to you, as well as your needs and deadlines? Are promises to complete an engagement within a certain time frame realistic? Our engagement team communicates and works closely with your management to determine the schedule, timeline and expectations for the audit.
Is the firm available to answer your questions or concerns throughout the year?
We always encourage clients to contact us throughout the year should any accounting or tax questions arise. Timely responses to your questions allow the business to make the best informed decisions.
What is the experience level of the staff performing the audit?
The level and quality of staff that will be performing the audit can vary greatly. The audit manager or director assigned to your audit has been with Holbrook & Manter for over 10 years. We historically have experienced a very low turnover rate at all levels of staff. Therefore, you will have a well-trained, experienced team working on your engagement from year to year.
Will the auditor identify and make recommendations that will benefit the business?
What feedback or comments will the auditor provide to the Board and Management at the conclusion of the engagement? Holbrook & Manter has always believed that incremental value is added to our audits by our observations and comments provided to management and the board to help strengthen and improve the business.
What are the integrity and quality of the firm?
Does the firm have a solid reputation? What references are available from the firm's clients? We believe that the quality of our work is of the highest level. Our peer reviews have always warranted a clean opinion and we have never received any letter of comments.