We sat down with Senior Xledger Consultant Espen Jansen, CPA, to discuss how Xledger impacts clients’ audit process.
Thank you for taking the time, Espen. Can you tell me a bit about your background?
Certainly. I’ve been a part of the Xledger consulting team for about a year now. Before that, I started and ran my own accounting firm for 11 years, and before that, I worked in corporate finance for several multinational enterprises.
What was your experience with ERP systems before Xledger?
Well, you can’t really be an accountant without using a few different ones. I’d say if you include everywhere that I’ve worked, I’ve probably used about five or six different systems, most of them big-name.
How does Xledger measure up to the systems you’ve used?
Perhaps I’m biased, but I think I can say with some objectivity that Xledger is the most impressive system I’ve interacted with. That was part of the reason I joined, because I wanted to be part of a company that could create something like that.
Audits are pretty time intensive, aren’t they?
That would be an understatement. I’d say that how long it takes really depends on the type of attest engagement, and whether it is a compilation, review or audit. I’d estimate that an audit could take anywhere from two weeks to well over four months. And of course there’s a cost. There are also other types of audits such as forensic audits, IRS or other government type audits etc., which are shorter in duration.
Does Xledger make audits easier?
A few different ways. Let’s start with the fact that you have everything you need in one place. You don’t have to drive to a warehouse miles away or wait in a cramped room with the AC turned off until the company you’re auditing finally gives you the documents you need. Or let’s look at the system’s analytical tools, the drill down and all of that, which let you get a sharper picture of financials in a small fraction of the time. Anything in the system, you can search for it. When you’ve found it, you can analyze it and even click down to the most granular level. If it’s a transaction, you can drill down to the underlying PDF invoice.
You also get benefits from the workflow tracking. You don’t have to go back and forth to try to figure out who’s responsible, who reported this transaction. It makes discrepancies easier to find and address, because the system logs every user’s activity.
I assume that shortens the audit time?
Oh, immensely. It’s a big range to begin with, so we can’t really tell exactly how much, but I’d estimate that with Xledger, audits might take anywhere from a half to a tenth of the time they would with manual processes.
Any other benefits you can think of?
Cost is a huge one. Our clients and auditors save a lot of time, which really is money, as well as actual money spent to prepare for and support a long audit.
There’s a benefit psychologically speaking. Audits are invasive and stressful. The more prepared for an audit you are, the more your ducks are in a row, the more peace of mind you’ll have.
Great. Thanks again