Ted Pettko has more than 15 years of experience in the accounting industry, including more than a decade at Schneider Downs. As a shareholder, he is responsible for the management and supervision of selected audit, review and compilation engagements, which includes overseeing the preparation and review of the financial statements and audit reports.
Q. What information should a company share with its accountant?
A general sense of current and future challenges affecting the company is a good start. All new and unusual transactions that have occurred during the year are a definite. Being a business adviser, we bring insights to help companies understand the transactions and aid in the decision-making process. Is it counterproductive to throw everything on the table and then pick and choose? I think the business owner knows their business better than anyone else, but the accountant should be able to step in and say, ‘Well, don’t lose sight of this issue.’
Q. How might a company be able to save money when it comes to accounting costs?
Developing a collaborative plan jointly with your accountant is one way. This ensures the client is aware of their accountant’s work. This will help the accountant from recreating something the client may have already completed. Another way is being prepared and making the auditors’ requests a priority while doing fieldwork. Lastly, organization goes a far way in reducing costs and time your accountant spends on your work. I try to have progress meetings to ensure everyone is aware of the open items and issues so there aren’t any surprises.
Q. How should a client prepare for an audit?
You should know the potholes of the road you’re going to travel with the audit before you begin, so you should have a planning meeting with the auditors. This meeting should cover the personnel, timing and information that you will have to supply. You should then assign items on the list to someone in your organization with a corresponding due date to ensure that someone takes ownership of the item or area and that the auditors are aware of the contact person.