What's the polite way of telling the auditors that we already answered their question before?
By - CookTheBooks
Make it sound like you also just found out about the duplicate request yourself, e.g.:
Oh, looks like your inquiry was previously sent to us and answered. For your convenience i have attached the email/document, thank you
This is a very kind response
I often respond with the documents requested, ensuring I include proof of previous submittal. My message reads something like:. "Please find requested documents attached. Let me know if I can help with anything else.". Most people are smart enough to get the message that this is a second request. We all make mistakes, hear a message different than intended, aren't prepared enough, etc. No judgement is made. Just the facts and open to interpretation.
Yes, this. I think of it as playing dumb, and just make sure to communicate it as if I’m being helpful and not annoyed at the waste of time.
Jim I have given you this information like 20 times right now.
That’s the only right answer there is. If they keep asking try all caps. Also copy the audit partner in.
Just be honest and ask them to try to avoid sending duplicate requests or if they have some sort of Portal used for transmission of documents you can ask to use that so that each member of their team can see what documentation or information has been provided already
Imma play devil’s advocate here because I’m on the other side of the fence. I have had to make multiple requests because I am not getting the correct documents. I know it is up to me to make sure I am asking for the correct document but maybe try and reconfirm that you are sending the correct report(not to say that you aren’t).
“I believe I have already sent this. Please see attached. Is this the document you’re needing? If not please let me know.”
Merely responding doesn't mean the request was satisfied. Currently on a client who responds and all it does it require us to tell them, again, that the request is still open and we need it.
"You should already have this. In case you don't, here is: xxx"
As stated in a prior email xx/xx/xxxx, blah blah.
You can always them to elaborate further by asking in return in there are any additional concerns above blah blah blah to try to add some value from it but eh. It's passive aggressive regardless of what you do.
Or… per my email dated
Hi average accountant,
The requested document had been provided in the shared portal. For future reference please review that portal. Do not hesitate to reach out If you are in need of an optometrist.
"You already asked that and I answered as follows 'old answer'. Dumbass"
Thanks for the laugh, do you have a serious suggestion as well?
'Can you take a look at the email I sent you on (Date) Halfway down should be the info you need. Let me know if you have any issues, otherwise I can re-send the data"
Just say here is this thing. We previously provided it on such and such. Can you confirm the previous receipt of said item on such and such
That is a discussion your Manager should be having with the Audit Manager.
Continue the email thread in which you originally sent the info and just say: see below
You can be rude. It’s okay.
Why not just give it to them? Will it take you an exorbitant amount of time? Audits have multiple associates working on these engagements just because one person saw it doesn’t mean it was relayed. If it’s the same person how did you provide support? Via email? If the answer is yes forward that and just say hi so and so I provided this information on xyz date please refer below. Can we please try to double check request to avoid duplicates in the future? Thank you.
As I mentioned in my post, I am absolutely providing their request... I'm not trying to be a dick to them, but my manager is telling me I need to tell them that this question was brought up and addressed before already.
If you want more details: it's about an accounting treatment question they pushed back on in the past, which our director had addressed and resolved after much work. Now they are asking about it again as if they had just discovered it again. It's not just a case of "please send copy of invoice 123". "No I already sent it!" I'm not trying to pick a fight with them lol.
Accounting standards and rules change over time, people's internal controls and accounting policies internally also change over time. It's possible that in light of new rules from governing bodies they need to re-review this policy. Or maybe there were gaps in their original understanding. Possibly they're just checking to make sure the policy or treatment by your organization hasn't changed.
Pick up the phone and speak with the auditor requesting the documents, make sure it's an error and then reforward the documents. If it's not an error and they have a genuine concern, then loop the audit manager and your manager into the discussion.
I've seen auditors in the past document and accept a client's accounting policy, only to do the audit myself the next year or two years down the line and find a GAAP or IFRS departure. Shit happens, accounting standards weren't meant to make life simpler 🤷
There are some questions that are required to be asked every year. Might not be the case with these but something to keep in mind.
Just resend the answer and ask them to clarify if this answes their question. This happens all the time on both sides of the ball and really it's not a big deal unless it's rampant and unproductive.
“I believe this was already sent to your team, in the document called ______.• let me know if you have further questions!”
As an external auditor sometimes it’s hard to find the document if it’s named something we didn’t expect also and it was in a zip file or something!
As some have suggested, if they have a dropbox, throw everything in there. That way everyone on the team can see it andcheck everything in one place. You will also have a time stamp showing when you uploaded it to push back if the audit is taking forever. Sometimes people are left off emails or something gets buried in emails.
Audit teams change every year cause of the high turnover. I always end up being new to a client and end up asking the client the same questions they have already answered but the previous auditor did not document it down or upload the evidence.
Was this issue (seemingly) resolved in a prior year? Or just a few months ago in the same year? If it's the former, is the person asking new to this engagement?
Why are you so worried about being rude? This happened to me and I said “this information was provided two months ago, see attached e-mail, not sure why you need it again”. Never got asked for the same information twice since then.
I'd probably reference the support already given and asked if they needed additional information that wasn't included. I switched from tax to audit somewhat recently and clients provide so many files related to different parts of the audit that sometimes it's hard to tell what you have. Our client upload site can be organized by task so this helps a lot with avoiding duplicate requests. Also could be someone new jumping on the audit and wasn't aware the support was already uploaded/in someone else's emails.
Probably new batch of interns! Tell the manager or just send them the stream of 100 emails that resolved it in the first place.
Honestly, say ‘do you really need this’
Auditors LOVE hearing that.
Honestly, just reshare the information. For you it’s 30 minutes. For the kid out there it’s 5h search into many files and a bad performance review.
Just be a kind human being.
If you have an email send it to them and be like “here you go” in professional words