Take the Stress Out of Preparing for Your Next Audit or Examination

January 22, 2021by Smarsh

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If the words “audit” or “regulatory examination” make your stomach cramp with anticipation, there are easy, proactive steps you can take to reduce your anxiety.

For organizations that are subject to examinations or audits from FINRA, the SEC, local state regulators or all of the above, these steps include having a well-documented compliance program and implementing regular reporting and compliance check-ins.

But preparing for an audit or examination is sometimes easier in theory than in practice, especially if your compliance team is already overwhelmed or understaffed. An audit quickly becomes a serious disruption if you need to pull staff away from projects or pay for expedited support from your compliance technology provider. That can lead to unexpected costs and put undue strain on your organization.

Smarsh recently launched Audit Assist, a reintroduced service designed to give your organization peace of mind and confidence that you are prepared for your next audit. The service removes the burden of preparing for an audit by yourself and enables our experienced professional services teams to better serve your needs.

Audit Assist from Smarsh

A subscription service, Audit Assist includes everything you need for your next audit or exam. If you undergo an audit or exam, having Audit Assist ensures you have access to expedited audit support and includes either a standard or expedited data export, depending on your package level. You will also have access to a wide variety of helpful resources, best practices and FAQ documents.

For those who opt for an “Advanced” package, we also include market-leading professional services, such as bi-annual health check meetings with our audit experts and an audit retrospective meeting. Web-based training from Smarsh University provides helpful information about using Smarsh products for audits and other use cases. Learn more about Audit Assist and how having an audit partner with Smarsh can save you both time and unexpected costs.

Additional Proactive Tips

In addition to purchasing Audit Assist for your organization, you can immediately take action to prepare for an audit:

  • Keep records and insights from your previous audits or examinations: If you are unsure of where to start, this is the place. Review your previous audits and examinations, see where auditors or examiners focused their time and energy, what concerned you the most and create a plan to address these areas.
  • Assign your team clear roles and responsibilities: You rarely complete an audit in a bubble. Make sure your compliance, administrative, marketing, leadership and any other teams that could be involved know what is expected of them before you are surprised with an audit.
  • Schedule routine system reviews: One of the most important tips is to routinely review your compliance system and program and make sure you know where and how to find the reports and data you will need to show auditors. Whether those are reports showing how often you are supervising employees, what keywords trigger in your system the most, or other items, it is good practice to know how to quickly find the data you need.
  • Prepare for anticipated exam priorities: Make sure to follow trends and predictions for audits from your regulatory authority and news sources. For example, Smarsh experts predict that in 2021, regulators will be focused on reviewing plans for remote work, retaining modern communication tools and more.

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Smarsh handles information you submit to Smarsh in accordance with its Privacy Policy. By clicking "submit", you consent to Smarsh processing your information and storing it in accordance with the Privacy Policy and agree to receive communications from Smarsh and its third-party partners regarding products and services that may be of interest to you. You may withdraw your consent at any time by emailing privacy@smarsh.com.

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Smarsh handles information you submit to Smarsh in accordance with its Privacy Policy. By clicking "submit", you consent to Smarsh processing your information and storing it in accordance with the Privacy Policy and agree to receive communications from Smarsh and its third-party partners regarding products and services that may be of interest to you. You may withdraw your consent at any time by emailing privacy@smarsh.com.