Focusing on prioritization during a remote audit

Nov 29, 2020 12:36:06 PM | 22 min read


As an auditor, you’re facing unprecedented challenges while trying to complete a remote audit. You simply don’t have the access to the same resources you did while you were in the office.

You aren’t able to go on site, you can’t meet in person, and there are disruptions everywhere you turn. However, it’s critical to remember that clients are currently experiencing those same issues. Because of this, we’ve seen the sequencing of audits change.

Rather than working on one or two audits a week, you’re having to split your time based on what information you have to work with. While this is a great coping strategy, it can often be difficult to know what to work on when. In fact, many auditors are finding themselves wasting time while they wait for documents or information.

The key to avoiding the waiting game is to focus on prioritization. When deciding what to work on, here are a few tips:

  • Work in chunks—In a perfect world, you would work on audits where you have enough information or documentation to complete a substantial amount of work instead of flipping between audits
  • Focus on productivity—In the old world, you might work on audits in the order in which they were submitted; now, you need to work according where you’ll be most productive
  • Reuse work wherever possible—Take advantage of templates and rollover lists from previous engagements with the same client or completely different clients
  • Try to stay on top of incoming documentation— Instead of waiting around, work with what you have; instead of working on one or two audits per week, you might have to work on five or six
  • Be agile and flexible—If it’s not possible to complete a substantial amount of work because you’re missing information, work on what you can instead of what’s urgent. Something is better than nothing.