AAF 01/20 Preparation Checklist
I’ve been hearing from various people in the marketplace that they were interested in learning about some steps, at a high level, that they need to take to get off the ground and on their way to completing their AAF 01/20 Report Type I or Type II. I will give you all a breakdown of some of the things organisations should be doing now, and some things to think about down the line as you progress.
This AAF Reporting Checklist is geared towards service organisations that have never undergone an AAF 01/06, AAF 02/07 etc. in the past and will be taking up the task this coming year. A more detailed version geared towards companies that have some experience being audited will be coming down the line.
Do your research
You have already come across our blog or website, so you have begun the process of researching AAF 01/20 and the responsibilities that come with performing one. I would continue to search for AAF 01/20 related information as well, as most of that knowledge is applicable.
Find a few Registered Auditors who perform over 20 AAF Reports annually.
You will want to research a number of firms that could perform and sign off on your AAF Report, which, only Registered Auditors firms are permitted to do. This process should be handled with the utmost care as you are putting a lot of trust into the company you choose, they can make or break you.
Some things to consider:
- The size of your company – You may not be able to afford a large Audit firm.
- The clientele you are attracting – Some companies will not feel secure with the quality of your AAF 01/20 if it was performed by a firm that isn’t well known.
- Total AAF reports performed – You do not want to use a company who has never done such work in the past, unless they are comprised of former employees of another quality firm and have decided to take off on their own.
- The methodology employed – You will want to quiz the companies and gain comfort around their methods and ensure you are comfortable with their responses and agree based upon your research.
Narrow your search
Based upon how you felt about each company, the people, the methodology, their previous experience, and of course, cost, you should narrow down your search to the top 2 companies.
Pricing for an AAF report can vary greatly depending upon the company performing the work, the size of your organisation, and audit scope. On average, company’s should be expected to spend between £15,000-£50,000 for a Type II audit.
You should look for a fixed fee so there is no potential for them to raise fees on you as the project progresses.
- Define the scope.
Once you have engaged a firm to perform the work, make sure you define the scope of the audit early on in the process. Not doing so could lead to excessive delays and potential cost overruns.
- Define your control objectives and activities.
In conjunction with your CPA firm, define the controls and test steps to be tested and make sure that they have been reviewed by process owners and any of the stakeholders at the CPA firm who may be reviewing and/or signing off on the report to ensure everyone is in agreeance. If this isn’t completed prior to testing, you are asking for a world of trouble.
- Perform a Readiness Assessment.
You can either choose to perform a Readiness Assessment on your own, based upon the test steps already defined, or, if you do not have the capacity or ability to do so internally, you can look towards either the firm performing your review or another firm who is skilled in preparing companies for audits.
These steps laid out here will set you on your way to getting your AAF 01/20 started up and going and should help to guide you through the toughest parts of the process. Once you have completed all of the steps we have laid out, you should be able to rely on the knowledge of your Registered Auditor to take you through the finish line.