Virtual Audit is the need of the Hour and “Work from Anywhere” has become the mantra for almost Organisations after the Corona pandemic, which we all went through. The Digital Transformation during the pandemic has changed the organizations working with their resources, Clients and various data.
Work from anywhere (WFA) is a flexible approach to the employees or stake holders to work productively and autonomously from anywhere, but strictly aligned with company culture and goal settings. This could be at home, in an Office, a coffee shop, while travelling, in a client place, co- working place, a hotel etc. It is important to see WFA as a concept rather than focusing on the literal definition. The old concept was that the employees could only be productive in an Office space. WFA is having the flexibility and ability to set up your workspace and be productive at a place that is suitable for the project.
Usually when WFA is implemented, organizations will be almost ready for sharing information across and almost ready for Virtual Audit. In this article, we are trying to make the reader understand what is Virtual Audit and how an organization especially the MSMEs to get prepared for the Virtual Audit by understanding the basic requirements.
What is VIRTUAL AUDIT?
Virtual audits are paperless, electronic audits that are conducted without face-to-face interaction. All data is exchanged in electronic formats such as MS Word, Excel, PDF files, text files and EDI files.
It is also known as Remote audit, and conducted remotely, using electronic methods such as video conferencing, email and telephone to obtain audit evidence, just like done during an on-site audit.
What are the types of Audits?
The Audits may be financial audits like Internal Audit, External Audit or Internal Revenue Audit. There may be other audits like Quality Audits or Company Audit etc which may also relate to the above definition.
Why Virtual Audit becomes important today?
- This is the digital era and most of the accounting and administrative documents receiving in business are already digital.
- The Work from Anywhere is the mantra today especially during and after the pandemic.
- Digital storage leads to less printing and encourage saving space, energy and earth.
- Constraints with manual filing system and delay in decision making.
- Dependency on people and place of work, makes it increasingly difficult.
- eAssessment of Income Tax and other Services are going to make everyone to face Virtual Audit by keeping digital records easily accessible.
What is the future of Virtual Audit?
Remote audits have many advantages and are unquestionable over the traditional methods, although there are still some barriers to overcome. Traditional audits, even when they have been well planned and executed, may cause a certain amount of inconvenience and disruptions to the organization being audited. Virtual Audits in addition, increasingly finding very attractive, by reductions in costs, saving time and resources.
What is happening during the Digital Transformation and role of Digital Office?
Information Technology has made tremendous changes the way business is done during ongoing Digital Transformation. Businesses depend on quick and smooth access to millions of pieces of information every day. Information in the form of office documents, e-Mails, acknowledgements, receipts, bills, electronic challans, web content, audio/visual clips, clinical reports, KYCs etc. are all being exchanged at a rapid pace. Companies operate from multiple locations, employees travel and telecommute, and customers, partners and suppliers can be anywhere in the world.
Therefore, Digital Office with capability of archival, retrieval and automation of digital documents also play a very vital role in today’s business and as a support system for Virtual Audit. Virtual Audit is the need of the hour for almost all types of audits in this digital era. Audits require verification of documents for authenticity and it is essential to have a secured and centralised repository with an efficient retrieval system.
How to get ready for Virtual Audit?
Organisations have to get ready for the Virtual Audit by keeping the records and documents easily available in digital form and also to access remotely to facilitate WFA concept.
This requires the implementation of Virtual Audit Tools and Digital Office Document Management Software System to suite the various requirements of an Organisation. The repository system of digital documents must be secured, safe with powerful search engine for quick retrievals.
It is important that these documents to be retrievable easily using various tools depending on the requirements. Needless to mention that the connectivity with the Office systems and various applications to be taken care for a smooth operation either deploying cloud server capabilities or own network and other infrastructure services.
How to implement Virtual Audit for your Organization and interact with different applications?
You need to have your hardware and applications working remotely. This means you are almost ready for a WFA and all applications are interconnected as and when required.
It is important to have the Digital Office working with easy interface or capability of interfacing with all essential applications used by organization for their business. Organisations should check such capabilities while implementing the solution and building infrastructure for WFH.
It is important to communicate between the Users and move all important Office documents, proforma bills, purchase bills, forms, payment processing documentation and internal communications through the Digital Office workflow to have a total control of documents. As far as possible avoid emails and any other way of communications within the organization so that all documents can be captured by the Digital Office software and central repository created by intelligent filing.
How to understand better with a CASE STUDY?
One of the most important areas where the record keeping is crucial for any Business is the financial accounting. Various audits are required with financial records by management, internal auditors, external auditors and other stake holders. Therefore, a seamlessly integrated Digital Office with Accounting Software is essential for all organisations to make Virtual Audit effortless.
TALLY being a popular accounting software among the MSMEs, it is interesting to share the following details which will be useful for all TALLY users. It will also give a guideline for other applications Users to implement a solution for their Virtual Audit.
it is important to have a safe, secured, compressed and encrypted documents storage system for support documentation of data vouchers to facilitate smooth Virtual Audit.
How to implement Virtual Audit for TALLY Software?
This involves various features like following to work with TALLY. Ensure that the documents are compressed and stored in the Digital Office and accessible only to authorized users.
- Scan/ attach supporting documents to Accounting Vouchers.
- Viewing documents efficiently.
- Exporting documents.
- Printing documents, when needed.
- Making single document for a voucher for quick view to Audit.
- Quick audit of document from Ledger.
- Sending email of document along with Voucher for any query from Management or Audit Team.
- Exporting documents for Auditor along with TALLY data.
- Import documents to Auditor machine.
- Easy Tools to view documents from Auditor System along with TALLY data.
- Remote connectivity and audit features as per requirement and wherever applicable.
For advanced TALLY Users, bills passing and documentation can be processed through the workflow in the Digital Office Software and finally attached with TALLY for Virtual Audit.
It is going to be more and more important to have this concept of working for all organisations since all audits and scrutinization are going to be remote. There may be many Digital Document Management Software which can support these specifications and it is pertinent to mention that one called CABiNET eDMSS (www.cabinetedms.com) with TALLY Integration is well suited and capable of managing almost all features mentioned above to support a VIRTUAL AUDIT.