When managing a private equity fund, large or small, we know the beginning of a new calendar year can be a stressful time. Your investors need updates, vetted status reports, and detailed breakdowns of the year’s performance, as well as assurances that the fund remains in compliance with all regulations. The organization, documentation and project management involved in this annual process, especially when it comes to answering auditor requests, can quickly overwhelm your full-time staff.
This year, as you begin the audit process, why not pass some of the workload to a reputable fund administrator, so that your staff can focus on the year ahead? Here are eight ways that NES Financial’s dedicated client services team can help your fund complete its annual audit thoroughly, accurately and on schedule.
1. Audit kickoff call —We like to set expectations straight away, and for this, there’s no substitute for a phone call in which everyone involved — your staff, your audit firm’s staff, and your NES Financial reps — agrees to their roles, responsibilities and timelines.
2. Calendar management — Following the kickoff, we build and maintain an audit production calendar, and circulate it periodically to ensure the audit stays on track.
3. Keeping things standard —Before audit field work begins, we draft financial statement templates and circulate for comments. This ensures the format and content of the notes is substantially locked down, so the auditors can focus on the numbers.
4. Looking around corners — We stay abreast of new accounting pronouncements and industry developments throughout the year, so we can incorporate changes into the financial statements proactively — instead of waiting for the auditors to request them.
5. Delegation — When auditors circulate request lists and open items lists, they’re often sent to the whole team, and this means that specific responsibilities may fall through the cracks. We review these lists and make sure it’s clear who’s responsible for each task, and we follow up to ensure the items are being resolved in a timely fashion.
6. “Which version are we on?” — We handle all financial statement draft preparation and review, including processing auditor comments and tracking draft status.
7. Milestone tracking —We schedule periodic calls during the audit to track progress and discuss issues. This keeps things moving smoothly, ensuring you pass each milestone needed to hit your audit sign-off deadlines.
8. Continual improvement — Your audit is complete! Now, let’s make sure things go even smoother next year. We schedule an audit debrief to discuss what went well, and where there are areas for improvement in next year’s audit.
At NES Financial, our dedicated client services team has experience working with the full spectrum of audit processes, from the Big 4 down to local and regional audit firms. Whether you’re a small fund, and each of your employees wears many hats, or you’re a larger fund looking for more of a white-glove service offering, we’re here to help you achieve a stress-free annual audit.
If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact us.