Internal Audit Accountant
The accountants at Cook CPA Internal Audit Group help their clients prepare for and successfully complete internal audits.
Every business owner is concerned about whether their company is operating at the highest efficiency that is feasible. This can mean analyzing the profits and expenses of a company or identifying practices that could lead to issues in the future. A thorough internal audit can have a profound impact on your business. If you need to perform an internal audit for your business, you should consult with an experienced internal audit accountant.
At Cook CPA Group, our accountants possess years of experience performing internal audits for businesses in multiple industries from law firms to oil and gas extraction companies. Don’t wait for external audit firms to pinpoint your material weaknesses. When you work with us, we find your business’s weak spots and advise on how to address them before you’re confronted with an audit. This way, when raising capital or acquiring another business, you’re prepared.
Responsibilities of an Internal Auditor
The primary responsibility of an internal auditor is to assess the efficiency of a company’s internal controls. Internal controls are rules and procedures adopted to keep financial information safe from fraud, embezzlement, and other issues. These procedures also hold managers accountable for financial issues that may arise. An internal auditor identifies these problems before a company is subjected to an external audit.
It is reasonable to believe that internal auditors and external auditors essentially perform the same tasks. However, that would be entirely correct. While internal and external auditors are third parties that work from outside a company, they serve different purposes.
External auditors examine a business’ financial statements to evaluate any financial issues that the business is experiencing. The purpose of this analysis is to manage the concerns of creditors and investors that possess an interest in the company. Alternatively, an internal auditor assesses the efficiency of a company’s risk management mechanisms to identify processes that can be improved. Internal auditors answer to the company’s managers or board members that govern how the company operates.
To learn more about how an internal audit works, you should continue reading and consider speaking with an experienced certified public accountant.
How an Internal Audit is Performed
The first and most important step of an internal audit is determining which department of your business needs an audit. For example, if you are having an issue with company assets being stolen, this should be the subject of an internal audit. Cook CPA Group is a seasoned internal auditing firm that assists with a range of financial services:
- Financial statement preparation assistance
- Research and preparation of memorandums addressing revenue recognition, variable entity accounting, collectability, segment reporting
- GAAP analysis of various transactions
- Preparation and review of tax provisions and deferred tax assets and liabilities
- Tax return preparation
- Assistance with accounting for stock options
- Assistance implementing provisions of SOX 404
- Presentations to audit boards
- Extensive collaboration and communication with a company’s key managers to prepare for audits and identify unusual practices or risk areas
After deciding what area of your business needs an internal audit, you should then determine the frequency of an internal audit. Certain departments may only require annual audits while others may need quarterly audits or possible even daily audits. Once you understand how often an audit will have to be performed, an audit schedule should then be developed. Employees should be made aware of the audit schedule and should also learn that they are important to the company’s operations.
If there is evidence that illegal activity may be occurring in a certain department, it may be worth it to schedule a surprise audit. These can catch an offender off guard and help catch unethical activity. Otherwise, a manager should be aware of an audit, so they are prepared to help the auditor with their investigation.
The auditor should also speak with employees to assess the efficiency of their work processes. Once an auditor completes their tasks, they should report their findings to the company’s managers and executives. At Cook CPA Group, we thoroughly discuss with both management and auditors the results of memos and research, concluding with relevant recommendations where appropriate.
Our Internal Auditors Can Help You Manage Your Internal Processes
Let Cook CPA Group help your business become leaner, stronger, and poised for growth. Our internal auditors can help you discover any problem areas in your business and help you develop a strategy that properly addresses those issues. If your company or non-profit is facing an external audit, now or in the future, consider how Cook CPA Group can serve you.