02 Oct 2017

“Dear Angie”: Eek! My Office is Being Audited!

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Welcome to “Dear Angie,” our monthly column featuring BMS Sr. Account Manager, Angela Vitale, answering your bankruptcy and software questions!

BMS Account Managers are an extremely valuable resource to your practice with bankruptcy expertise and software know-how, and they are only ever a call or email away.

Check out Angie’s latest Q&A below discussing how to turn an audit from “scary” to “sweet” with preparation tips!

 

DEAR ANGIE

Turn Audits from Scary to Sweet with Solid Preparation

BY ANGELA VITALE

As an Account Manager, over the years I, like my colleagues, have received numerous client inquiries about Handbook procedures, policies, and software features, as well as general “what do other trustee offices do” questions. In sharing these questions and answers with our Chapter 7 community, I hope you find them useful and interesting!

 

DEAR ANGIE: Eek – our office is getting audited and I’m freaking out! Can you give me some advice or documentation that can help me prepare for this audit?

SIGNED,
BEING AUDITED

 

DEAR AUDITED: Audits can certainly seem scary, but if you are prepared for them, they can be “sweet” instead!

When an audit is upcoming, I always recommend that you refer to past audit reports to make sure you are not repeating the same errors. If you haven’t been previously audited, you should review any documents that you have received from the UST on your yearly reports. Any reviews or documents that are generated for you by the UST usually refer to the Chapter 7 Handbook requirements, and thus are very handy in preparing for audits.

In addition to reviewing previous reports, I strongly suggest that you review the EOUST website, particularly their Reference Materials page. There are many resources on this website that are informative and can provide you guidance for your upcoming audit. For example, the “Sample Rules of Behavior Governing Computer Use” can help you know UST guidelines relating to computer usage. In addition, “Segregating Duties in a Small Trustee Operation” can help you to clarify your allocation of duties in advance in case you are asked during your audit (CaseLink² has a built-in Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) tool that allows you to update who’s responsible for what duties within your practice and provide to the auditor at the click of your mouse!)

Furthermore, use the Auditor tool offered in both CaseLink² and CaseLink Office (and the additional UST tool if you use CaseLink²) to shine a light on any gremlins causing data anomalies and get those corrected before your next audit. Do a quick search for “audit” on the BMS blog to find out more about using the audit preparation tools in our software.

Finally, audits take place every 4 years – don’t wait until you are audited to prepare! Why make the process “scary?” By staying on top of your cases, running regular reports in your software, reviewing Handbook updates and the EOUST website, and talking to your Account Manager, you can make any upcoming audit “sweet!”

As a general rule, I advise you to reference the Chapter 7 Handbook for any situation you come across, as it is an invaluable resource for Trustees. In addition, always check with your local UST for district-specific requirements.

Thank you for writing in!
-Angie

 

 

Got a Question for Dear Angie?

Send it to us at BMS@BMSAdvantage.com! You might just see it answered in our next issue.

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