The audit is a compulsory annual requirement for all real estate offices in Australia.
Gathering the essential documents together to provide the auditor with copies of every single report and preparing for their visit can be a time consuming and stressful process. There is no ‘quick fix’ solution to auditing but there are a few simple tips to help you through your next audit.
Tip one will sound simple - ensure your bank reconciliation is balanced! When requiring no adjustments this process is made much simpler for everyone involved. Record every transaction at the time it occurs to prevent confusion or simple human error. Mistakes do happen, tenants will forget to cancel their direct debit when they move out, bonds may not be repaid, and the list goes on. However, if you keep a record of all these incidents as they occur your accounts will remain reconciled well before any audit.
Tip number two - make sure all of monthly audit reports are easily accessible and in order to make both yours and the auditors lives easier. This is simply good record keeping and can be achieved by using an electronic document management system and making sure you file everything correctly. Remember, your auditor will take a random sample as well as looking at the big picture so always file everything correctly each day and not just at the end of the financial year.
The last tip I’ll leave you with is for those using cloud based software. For these users the process leading up to an audit can be simplified by allowing the auditor ‘read only’ access to your trust accounting system where the relevant documents are stored and easily accessible. With their own access, an auditor can view and print the reports they require, such as trust trial balances, and can also track all changes that have been made in the system. Additionally, the auditor can carry out this process from their own office at a time that suits them, without causing interruption to you or the office.
Alister Maple-Brown is the CEO of leading property management software provider, Rockend. After completing his BA in both Australia and the United States he worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC followed by two years as an analyst, trainer and business development manager in the worldwide sales division at Inktomi, a rapid growth software business in Silicon Valley, California.
Alister has been with Rockend since 2001 and as sales manager grew new business revenues by 40 per cent over the years before moving into the marketing team until 2007. For the following three years he led the product development team before moving to the role of general manager of PropertyTree, Australia’s first cloud based property management solution. In mid-2012 Alister became CEO of Rockend.
Alister is dedicated to the development of innovative technology which will become even more central to Rockend’s future progress in the property industry.