Are you a chartered accountant in the more than ever digital era? If you answered yes, it’s more than likely that you have plenty of questions about which online audit software solution you should be using. Some of these questions may include: how to find a reliable supplier, what is Cloud-Based, what’s the point in going digital and how will it actually help? To help you, we’ve put together 5 tips to direct you in your quest to help you choose the most suitable software for your audit missions.

1. Think about what you need 

Some providers will have long lists of advantages and not all of them will be beneficial to you. So take your time and list all the features you think you might need. Just ask yourself: does the software provide me with everything I need to complete my mission effectively? 

For example: 

  • A user-friendly software interface: if you can’t use it then you won’t be gaining much time
  • Real-time updated ISA’s integrated: this is important to keep your files up to date and in order
  • Collaborative working features: having your team all working together in a streamlined manner will save you hours! 
  • Support service: if you get stuck you need somewhere to go… 

And then of course, listen to the audit software provider’s advice; because who knows, their solution may just offer a useful feature that you hadn’t listed but in reality by adopting it you will be twice as efficient. The thought alone is exciting! 

2.  Is the audit software 100% safe and reliable 

You need to double check that the solution you choose will please your clients: will their files and data be safe? Where will it all be stored? It is important to know which features are key requirements for you and which are nice to have. For example: does the software has a double authentication feature; this will protect your files and client details. As well, check where the providers servers are hosted and their level of security, these simple verifications will reassure you and keep you and your clients mind at rest. Don’t forget too that a cloud package or full web service require a safe, consistent and reliable internet connection to allow you to access your data, whether that’s via a laptop, desktop or mobile device. 

3.  What do I do if I get stuck? 

Imagine working on a big file with a tight deadline and getting stuck… With this in mind you need to check that the solution provider has a support service. Whether it’s a free or a paid service either by email or telephone it’s an essential. Even with the easiest of software, sometimes we all need a little help and advice.

4. How do I pay for the service? 

Some services offer a pay by file method and others an annual subscription. Think about how many clients you have and thus the number of files and work out which method would work out the most cost-efficient for you. Not forgetting the ease of use and so forth, because as we all know: cheap doesn’t always mean better and vice versa as a matter of fact. 

5. Don’t forget about the future 

When investing in anything it’s always important to consider how you want to shape your future. Forgetting about this can be dangerous; how do you imagine your business tomorrow? Are your competitors leaving you behind? Investing in a software that is scalable and can grow with you is ideal and if they can support you along the way then you will save a lot of time and money. Most cloud-based software providers offer you the opportunity to propose modifications and enjoy listening to their clients, so make sure you ask the right questions. 

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