Can investors trust management? | Opinion

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A thorough audit presented to potential investors can help offer the reassurance they need before making an investment decision
Model of an investor considering an audit

Conducting a regular business audit is vital as the document it generates is needed to help monitor and inspect the financial situation of a company. To prevent losing track of assets and overheads a business has, audits help bring clarity to managers where their cash in-flows and out-flows are going to and from.

Audits can take many different forms and, depending on the nature of your business, one type of audit may be deemed more important than others.

Take a retail audit, for example. For those operating in industries where financial success is based on selling tangible products to customers, this audit measures sales volumes of products being sold.

As for service-based businesses, measuring financial success is most likely due to the quality of service employees are providing to customers, thus a quality control audit would be most appropriate.

Other than clarifying a businesses financial situation, a thorough audit presented to potential investors can help offer the reassurance they need before making an investment decision.

“Transparency is the ultimate determinant as to whether an investor goes through with the investment”

In relation to this, the main benefits of supplying investors with an audit include:

  • The credibility given to financial statements — the main purpose of an audit is to verify that the financial statements made in a business’s documents are correct and accurate, thus helping to build trust with an investor.
  • Improves planning, budgeting, and forecasting — since financial audits give an insight to the assets, liabilities, and cash inflows and outflows that are present, this information can be used to plan ahead and ultimately limit the potential financial risks a business might face. From an investor’s perspective, this shows professionality and key organisational skills.
  • Compliance — for business owners, shareholders, and potential investors, showing conformity to statutory requirements is the ultimate way to show investors that a company is in fact who they say it is.

Transparency is crucial. When a business is asked to see key information, including the statement of income, cash flow statements, and a balance sheet, transparency is the ultimate determinant as to whether an investor goes through with the investment.

Type of audits

For businesses that are new entrants into the market, having easy access to capital is crucial for its survival. The monetary support offered by investors is something highly valuable.

While immature businesses might not have had the chance so far to build up a high level of trust with external shareholders, going beyond the lengths necessary to start building one is vital.

“An operational audit helps outline a business’s goals, targets, procedures, and current outcomes”

There a numerous ways audits can help with this. Since new entrant businesses are most likely still in the processes of development, providing interested investors with an operational audit is advised.

An operational audit helps outline a business’s goals, targets, procedures, and current outcomes of a project. By providing investors with this information ultimately shows transparency, painting businesses in a positive light from the get-go.

Technology for audits

While technological developments take their toll on all industries, the dynamic nature of markets intensifies. Being the catalyst behind most business innovations, constant technological improvement and the monitoring of product and service performance is more important than ever to avoid the ‘outdated’ label becoming attached.

As technology continually redefines how sectors operate, developing strategies and creating innovative ways to prevent falling behind in the market is something that investors commonly look for.

“Statutory audits are put in place to examine the accuracy and legitimacy of the financial statements”

By providing them with an aforementioned operational audit, it shows a business’s initiative to set goals and targets to deal with market changes and advancements that have yet to come.

Regardless of the type of audit examination that is undergone, the likes of statutory audits are put in place to examine the accuracy and legitimacy of the financial statements put forward by companies operating in all industries. These provide potential investors with the accurate knowledge needed before taking the leap towards investment.

About the author

Andrew Millet
Andrew Millet
Director at | Website

Andrew Millet founded Wisteria in 2002. As director, he is responsible for the Audit department, as well as Business Consultancy. His clients vary in size from £1m to £30m turnover from a variety of sectors including e-commerce, technology, fintech and many others.

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