Jessica Zeff on Preparing for a Government Audit [Podcast]

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By Adam Turteltaub

Jessica Zeff (LinkedIn) loves government audits. I know, it’s hard to believe, given the dread they inspire. But, the founder and lead consultant of Simply Compliance makes a very good case in this podcast that audits can be much better than people expect and actually helpful for the compliance program.

How is this possible?  She argues strongly that, given the inevitability of an eventual audit, compliance teams should prepare for them on an ongoing basis rather than just when the audit notification arrives in the mail. By assessing what data an auditor might need, what gaps they may find, and what concerns they may have, compliance teams can complement their risk assessment process and have a better handle on where they should be focusing their efforts.

As importantly, having this information handy can be helpful during the audit. Not only does it reduce last minute rushing to prepare, it enables the team to tell auditors their story in a way that shows the organization is doing the right thing and that compliance is on the ball.

When the auditors arrive, she advises being prepared logistically as well. This includes having relevant (and not irrelevant) data ready for the auditors. In addition, she recommends thinking through what they will need — from space to meals — and ensuring that the staff they need to interview is available.

Listen in to learn more about how a government audit may not just be better than you think but also a positive experience.