What to Look for When Selecting an Audit Partner

What to Look for When Selecting an Audit Partner

March 4, 2024

The world of required and optional audits for financial institutions is vast and complex. A good partner can not only complete your audits efficiently and objectively, but also provide guidance about which audits are necessary or recommended for your organization.

There are so many types of audits that can be beneficial — but it’s important to understand that what works for other organizations may not work for yours. You need to be sure you are addressing your specific processes and regulatory requirements. An external audit partner can assist in determining what audits, whether required or optional, are most likely to benefit the organization. The best partner will help you uncover and address issues before an exam, making exam time a seamless and less stressful experience. They shouldn’t try to convince you to do any audits without first understanding your unique situation.

Characteristics of a Successful Partnership

A good audit partner is flexible and honest. They will be mindful of your budget and timeline. They won’t try to upsell you when you don’t need it or rush you into doing things sooner than necessary. At ViClarity, we understand that budget and workload management are key factors in developing your audit plan.

It’s critical to ensure an audit partner is staffed by experienced individuals who are knowledgeable about applicable rules and regulations as well as industry best practices. To be truly effective and demonstrate that your best interests are the top priority, a partner should be transparent about what audits your organization needs – and more importantly, what you don’t need.

You should feel empowered to state your preferences and expectations during planning conversations so your partner can complete a thorough process analysis and build a customized audit plan based on your organization’s specific needs. At ViClarity we are passionate about this — we never take a “one size fits all” approach.

The Influence & Impact of a True Partner

With a customized approach, a good audit partner can create a positive, lasting impact on your organization’s exam readiness and overall compliance success. It starts by developing a good baseline, then working through a plan that isolates pain points and priorities for improvement in a manageable way over time.

For example, ViClarity worked with one of our credit union clients to conduct a full suite of audits, including lending and deposit audits, as well as others, at the beginning of our partnership to establish a baseline. This allowed us to identify critical issues that potentially needed more focus in the future. We then staggered additional projects over time, sometimes focusing on those very specific, critical issues rather than conducting large-scale audits that weren’t always necessary on an annual basis. This custom approach provided the best solution for the individual needs of the credit union at the time.

ViClarity’s audit services team embraces this approach because we have been where you are. Most of our team members have worked in credit unions or banks, and they have over 20 years of combined experience in the audit space.

ViClarity Services & Software Keep You on Top

In addition to our audit services, ViClarity offers expert compliance consulting services. Leveraging the deep experience of both groups can keep you ahead of the game for exams and beyond.

If you’re ready to leverage a technology platform to assist with tracking your audit and exam findings, ViClarity’s software solution can help you reduce manual processes that slow you down and invite human error.

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to us!

 

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