How do I handle an audit? by Russ Shulman

Posted on Jan 11, 2016 at 9:00 PM

What should I do if I'm being audited?

Hi Russ, I'm in the middle of an audit and I'm supposd to meet the auditor in person this week. I don't feel prepared but I know my business better than anyone so does it make sense for me to go? Thanks, Amy

I come from a school of thought that says everybody's busy and everybody wants to do a good job. This includes auditors. When an auditor is thinking about looking at your business, what they're looking for are clues to a puzzle. They're looking for mathematical and logical consistency. They're looking for a business owner who is being helpful.

Your job as the business owner is to do whatever you need to do to keep your business alive right? Sometimes that means doing illogical, inefficient, and sometimes "grey area" kinds of things. So you're out for different things at the outset. The thing is, most business owners during an audit represent themselves, because they think they can handle it. The truth is auditors are sneaky, and they get acknowledgement and promotions based on how much money they collect, but also on how well they operate managing their cases.

They are much happier talking to a professional who speaks their language, because it speeds up their ability to manage cases and it gives them some confidence that they can believe some of the information that being given to them. so the way to handle an audit is to let somebody represent you, and somebody you feel is knowledgeable enough to help keep you out of trouble.

And if you've read some of my other articles, you'd know that I think business owners are in trouble right from the beginning. It's just a matter of whether regulator is looking at you or not Russ