Unfortunately the term “Audit” seems to have a negative meaning associated with it. Of course there are times when an audit is required due to things such as misappropriation or bad management; however, those cases represent an incredibly small percentage of audits performed.
That all being said, an organization wants to get the best results possible of how their money is spent in order to provide the most services they can. An audit can play a big part in helping to spend your money wisely. Auditing standards and procedures have changed significantly over the years. It is no longer simply checking financial reports and compliance with guidelines and regulations. Reviews are done to make sure you are providing the best services you can, based on the scope of how you are supposed to be using your money.
You will of course be working closely with your auditor and “guiding” them to the required source documentation they request. This will be both of a financial nature as well as narratives within or attached to contracts between your organization and funding sources. Part of their review process includes assuring you are meeting your goals as defined in contracts and financial agreements.
This is where the guidance from an auditor can not only help clean up any procedural items, but also make the organization more productive in general. An auditor will do much more than just provide correcting journal entries. An auditor is a source of information that will help make the organization healthier overall. They are there to provide a service, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help in an area, simply because it isn’t specifically related to the financial reports. Remember that your organization is not the only not-for-profit agency they work with.