For many people now, the route into a successful career can be starting up your own business. You may have recently graduated from university and decided that this is the way that you would like to work, or you may have decided to turn your personal passion into a business that you think will succeed. Whatever the reason, setting up on your own can be a viable career move that will pay off in the long term.
Of course, there are many tasks and things that you will need to keep an eye on when setting up your own business. Finances are naturally one of the major areas that need attention, and this is where an audit can help.
What is an audit?
Put simply, an audit is an examination of your organisation’s accounts and records to make sure that they are a fair and accurate reflection of your business dealings. They will also usually look at the processes and procedures that you have in place as well as the figures. They can be done as an external audit by an independent organisation or as an internal audit by people within your business.
Why are audits key for business?
It is wise for all businesses to participate in a regular audit process, certainly once they are of a certain size and well established. The major reasons why are:
- Prevention – a key reason why an audit is a great business tool is that it will help to prevent any illegal or bad behaviour by staff. As a business owner, you will have to delegate work to staff who you employ as the business grows. Carrying out regular audits once you are at this level will help to protect you and your business from any malicious behaviour from within. In effect, any issues such as this will not only be picked up on but also prevented.
- Transparency – another reason why audits make perfect business sense is that they show that your company is transparent in its dealings with both customers and the authorities. This will help you to build up a positive brand image and also make you more attractive for potential business partnerships or investments. It will also give you peace of mind as the business owner that you are being totally open in your business dealings and are not seen to be hiding anything.
- Procedure checking – whether an internal or external audit, the process provides a great way to check that your company is working in the right way. As the new GDPR laws have come into effect now, it will allow you to make sure that you are working correctly in these areas, for example. Audits will also not only make sure that you are meeting your legal responsibilities but also that you are working in the most efficient way.
- Detection – a robust audit procedure can help you to uncover any potential issues that are not known yet. By finding out about them as part of the audit, it allows you to deal with them before they cause you too much of a headache or land you in legal trouble.
Keeping your personal finances in order is key
As well as using the audit process to help with company finances, you would also be wise to think about your personal finances. Many business owners will have gone to university and maybe graduated with a high level of personal debt. Many could also help to access money to pay off their debts by making the decision to claim PPI.
Payment Protection Insurance was mis-sold to many people who took out loans or credit cards – this could well include yourself when at university or college. By taking steps to keep your personal finances in great shape, you will also be in a position to keep your business afloat if funds are needed.
Let an audit help ease the pressure
As noted above, you may have enough financial burdens in your personal life. By using the audit process to help avoid any more in your career, you are taking a wise step. A thorough internal or external audit will not only help to protect your business but also allow you to refine your processes for extra efficiency. In the long term, this will mean that you work in a more streamlined way and can help your business grow. Many of the biggest companies in the world use an audit in this way, and when done well, it will give a real insight into what your business does and how it can do it better.