Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Choosing an Auditor

Steven K. Stucky, CPA, Sikich LLP

Being part of a non-profit organization, you know how important it is to timely and accurately report your financial information. These include how much money you are receiving in donations and for what activities those funds are being used. Though many non-profits are not required to have audits performed, your organization’s bylaws may require one.

How do you go about selecting an auditor?

1. Qualifications: First and foremost, find a few potential candidate firms that have the capabilities for which you are looking and dig into their qualifications. Who are the individual staff members with whom you’ll be working directly?
2. Experience: Do they have audit experience in the non-profit sector, or even better, do they have dedicated teams that only work with non-profit organizations? What is their reputation in the industry?
3. Geography: Is it important to have a local auditor, or can you work remotely with one? If you want a local auditor, does the firm have an office in your geographic area?
4. Education: Regulations and laws are constantly changing. How do your audit candidates keep current in the non-profit sector? Are they personally involved with any non-profit organizations at the leadership level?
5. Services: Is it possible that you’ll want or require other services in the future, other than audits? If so, look into a firm that can provide a wide range of services—whether that’s additional tax-related services or even human resources, marketing or technology consulting. Keep in mind that these additional services do not create a conflict of interest with the audit.

The bottom line: Choose an auditor with whom you are comfortable working. Take the time to request proposals, examine what each firm has to offer, engage in interviews with candidates and ensure that your selection is the best fit.

FMI, contact By Steven K. Stucky, CPA; Partner, Sikich LLP. Steven can be reached at 317-842-4466 sstucky@sikich.com.

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