COVID-19 has changed many things in a short amount of time. This includes the way we work and interact with one another. It is very important to The Whitlock Company to protect the health of our staff and clients, while making the work we do as seamless as possible. In response to this, we want to briefly outline how we can continue to serve our clients using remote audit services.

What are the tools we have?

Over the past several years, The Whitlock Co. has invested in technology to facilitate the ability to do remote audit work. Previously, we would balance the need for on-site work and remote work on a client-by-client basis. With the introduction of social distancing that will likely last for several months, we will rely more heavily on our remote audit tools in the future.

Besides the typical means of phone and email, we have implemented several software tools to facilitate a remote audit. These include:

  • Sharefile – File sharing and secure email.
  • Suralink – Our newest tool, this is a workflow software that allows CPA’s and clients to work collaboratively on audit request lists; Includes file sharing and engagement progress tracking.
  • GoToMeeting – Video conferencing software that can be used on any device.
  • Adobe Sign – Electronic signature tool for engagement letters, management representation letters and other document authentication.

What can I expect during my audit?

For many of our clients, our audit process will not look much different, except we won’t be conducting on-site visits. Scheduling and planning will be very familiar as we have phone calls and emails to complete the preliminary phases of an audit engagement. Next, you will receive a request list through Suralink or Sharefile to begin the document transfer process. If your business is not yet paperless, we recommend a high-quality scanner be used to upload files. Furthermore, if you need recommendations for tabletop scanners for newly remote employees, please let us know.

During what would traditionally be our audit fieldwork, The Whitlock Co. audit team will be in regular contact with key staff to efficiently complete the audit. We will also keep face-to-face contact as much as possible though video and use GoToMeeting to address key audit areas. The effectiveness and timeliness of our audit procedures will not change due to the lack of on-site fieldwork.

Finally, while we have always given our clients the option to have both electronic and physical reports, we will only have electronic report capabilities for the next few months. If physical reports are needed, we will provide them once our office operations return to normal.

The Whitlock Company strives to maintain excellent client service during these difficult times. If you have any questions, please contact us about the benefits of a remote audit.