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Audits: How to get the best value for money

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At Neopay, we offer a range of solutions tailored to firms’ needs as they adjust to the changing attitude of the Regulator. All of our audits draw on the market-leading experience of our team to deliver a detailed and practical report.

 

Despite the upfront costs, we all know that regular audits are an essential part of maintaining FCA compliance. And with the FCA’s current supervision and enforcement approach, the right audits at the right time can literally save businesses.

Due diligence requests from regulated business partners and third parties are also increasing as the FCA’s more assertive approach ripples through the industry.

With the increase in new FCA guidance and requirements, as well as their change in approach, it is vital that firms ensure their compliance frameworks and processes are keeping up-to-date. Regular audits are more important than ever.

But how can firms ensure that their approach to auditing is as effective as possible, getting the best value for money from their auditing budget?

Scoping Effectively

Setting the scope of an audit effectively is a critical step in ensuring that the audit process is focused, cost-efficient, and aligned with the organisation’s objectives.

A good consultancy firm like Neopay can help you with the scoping process, not just in ensuring that everything’s covered, but also in ensuring that you are not allowing the scope to creep unnecessarily.

There are 7 key aspects of the scope to consider:

Reducing Resource Requirements

Obviously, if an audit is required by a third party, there’s little room for maneuver in terms of audit scope and resource requirements. For internal audits the scope may be fairly fixed too, but there are still some ways that you can save.

Talking through the scope, requirements and motives with your compliance partners, along with any particular concerns you have, can help them assess what would be the best value for money for your firm.  Even when the minimum scope is non-negotiable, at Neopay, we offer a set of standard audits at a reduced rate. If one of these audits can be used with just minor adjustments, it could save you money.

Our team can help you identify the most important requirements for your business and the most effective process to help ensure your audit is cost effective.

The Audit Report

The cost of an audit doesn’t just come from the audit itself; remedial actions can also prove costly, particularly if you are charged extra for remediation advice. Ensure that your auditors will provide a clear report with practical suggestions for remedial actions and not charge extra for related advice.

At Neopay, we rank gaps based on the risk they pose to your business and provide recommendations for remedial actions. We also take time to ensure that you and your colleagues understand the findings and the options available to rectify any issues at no extra charge.

Be open and flexible

The timing and flexibility of dates can have an impact in terms of pricing. If you have the option, May, July and August are good times to seek a discount, as holidays mean that auditors are often looking to fill up gaps in their schedules. But even at other times of the year, being flexible with dates can help auditing teams avoid busy patches and therefore be more prepared to reduce the price.

Providing documentation in advance can also help reduce pricing as it reduces the amount of time auditors have to spend chasing documents and files.

Spreading Payments

Neopay has options to spread the cost of audits through our Integrated Managed Service – and ‘health check’ diagnostic is included within the service at no extra cost. The service also allows you to obtain expert advice at any time without worrying about the cost – so if you have concerns about an aspect of your compliance, you can just ask.

With the increase in new FCA guidance and requirements, as well as their change in approach, it is vital that firms ensure their compliance frameworks and processes are keeping up-to-date. FCA scrutiny, and in particular the increasing number of Skilled Person Reviews (Section 166s) within Payments and E-Money, has increased.

Due diligence requests from regulated business partners and third parties are also increasing as the FCA’s more assertive approach ripples through the industry.

Audits are one of the essential tools firms have to ensure their compliance and regulatory operations are up to scratch and to limit their risk.

How Neopay can help

At Neopay, we’ve developed a range of auditing and on-going support solutions tailored to firms needs as they adjust to the changing attitude of the Regulator. Contact us today to gain a better understanding of how we can help you.

 

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