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Virtual Audit Services for Nonprofits

Times have changed. For many nonprofits traditional office environments are a thing of the past. More and more organizations are using cloud based accounting systems, electronic bill paying and operating in a less-paper or paper-free finance department. In addition, we are seeing more nonprofits using outsourced accounting professionals for their accounting and financial reporting needs. These outsourced accountants typically maintain the books of the nonprofit in a virtual platform, which aids in efficiency and provides easy access to financial data.

To serve this audience, Wegner CPAs has created a virtual audit team.  Members of our virtual audit team specialize in working on financial statement audits and IRS Form 990 for organizations that either do not have an office to conduct the audit or would prefer to have the auditors work remotely. On an annual basis, Wegner CPAs serves over 100 clients in a complete virtual capacity. 

Included in our virtual audit client base are consolidated entities, such as 501(c)(6) trade associations with subsidiaries consisting of a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation and a for-profit corporation, as well as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations with a closely aligned 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. Our experience in working with consolidated entities can help you navigate the various intercompany transactions and compliance matters that arise in consolidations, especially in the ever-changing political and compliance environment.

Benefits of a Virtual Audit

We have found that virtual audits can often be more efficient than onsite audits because the audit team does not have to travel to the client’s office and set up and take down computers.  We also have found that virtual audits provide our clients with more flexibility in scheduling of audit fieldwork to meet your internal deadlines.

Another approach that many of our clients are starting to take is a hybrid model of mixing the onsite audit process with a virtual audit.  With documents sent to us far in advance of scheduled onsite fieldwork days, we’re able to test significant items, pull samples, and compile questions so that come onsite fieldwork, we’re able to focus and streamline our inquiries and testing to limit the disruption to an organization’s day-to-day operations.

Another benefit of a virtual audit can be reduced audit fees.  Since we have less travel and set up time, we gladly pass this savings along to our clients.  We also are able to staff virtual audits with more experienced staff, which makes the client preparation process much more efficient.

A couple common questions we receive is “How is a virtual audit different than a traditional audit?” and “What can I do to best prepare for a virtual audit?” We recently presented a webinar discussing best practices to prepare for a virtual audit engagement and to discuss the overall differences on both the auditor and auditee side of a virtual audit engagement.  Visit the link below to view the recording:

Remote Audits – What to Expect and How to Prepare for a Cloud-Based Financial Statement Audit of Not-for-Profit Organizations (Webinar Recording)

COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, substantially all of our clients have seen their programming and overall operations disrupted.  Due to our experience over the past five years in conducting virtual audit engagements, we’ve been able to guide our clients through the challenges they face and advise on “best practice” procedures to consider implementing to ensure systems continue to operate as intended and continue to safeguard the organization’s assets.  We realize that no two organizations operate and store files the same, especially during a pandemic, so we tailor our audit approach to our client’s needs now more than ever.  We work with our clients to determine what’s the most efficient manner to provide audit support (virtual or paper copy) and also continually discuss the timeline for the overall audit process to ensure agreed upon deadlines are met as we realize access to physical records can be limited at the moment given local laws and regulations.  Further, our experience in working in a virtual environment has allowed us to continue to meet client deadlines set prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing our clients to meet deadlines with their funders and/or governing boards.

Guiding You

Even when we conduct audits remotely, we still can meet with you in person to discuss your organization, internal controls and the audit process.   This meeting can be at your office location or as an electronic meeting online.

If you would like to find out if a virtual audit is right for your organization, please contact Glenn Miller, CPA, Partner at 888-204-7665 or glenn.miller@wegnercpas.com, or fill out the form below.