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Published January 09th, 2017 by

How to Evaluate an Audit Software: A Guide for Buyers

How to Evaluate an Audit Software: A Guide for Buyers

Businesses often use a generalized audit software to help with business processes. It can help with automating the analysis of data, so it wouldn’t have to be done manually. It is also important for storing important information of a company. Other functions include database sampling and generating confirmation letters to be given to business clients or suppliers.

To make things easier for employees and employers alike, the best software should be acquired for the company. There are also a lot of benefits to acquiring this software. There are many service providers that offer this kind of software, so there are a lot of options to choose from. Because there are a lot of options available, it can be difficult to make a decision regarding the best audit software for the company.

Here are some questions to help you evaluate the software that you would get. Instead of just answering yes or no to the questions that will be provided below, it would be better to quantify your answers. You could answer 1–5 to rank your answers for each criterion in each evaluation aspects. By the end of the evaluation, you could compute your answers and the highest score will be given priority when making your final decisions.

General Capabilities

In this evaluation criterion, you would look at how the software can meet your specific requirements. Before you start looking for an audit software, it would be best if you already know the things that you specifically need in the software. It would make searching for the perfect software easier. Here are the questions to help you evaluate the general capabilities of a software:

  1. Does this software meet your specific requirements? If you haven’t compiled what you need from the software, here are some functions of this tool that you might need or require:
    1. Appraisal of productivity and performance
    2. Optimization of deployed and reserved resources
    3. Improvement of all operations
    4. Management of data
    5. Automation
  1. Will this software be compatible with your hardware? You already have a hardware and an existing system, integration will be easier if the software is compatible with your hardware.
  1. Will this software be compatible with your existing system? Like what was mentioned above, you already have an existing system. Maybe you want to update or upgrade it, which is why you are getting a new audit system. The transition would be smoother if both systems are compatible with each other.
  1. What will be the required platform and device of this software? Will the software run on mobile devices or are computers always needed? For companies with employees who travel a lot, it would be better that your software is available on mobile devices. An article from Computer World claims that by 2018 users will most likely choose smartphones and other mobile devices over computers. You wouldn’t want to be changing your software that soon, so it would be better that the software you will choose now can be accessed through mobile devices.
  1. How big are the files that this software can process? There might be times that you might need to process documents with more than one gigabyte in size.Will the software be able to process this much information? And how fast will the software be able to do it?
  1. How will the data turn out as documentation? What are the qualities of the documentation when they are done?
  1. How good is the help desk of the service provider? Will there be 24/7 hotlines or round-the-clock customer support?
  1. Is the software ideal for experts only? Or is the software easy to learn and can it be used easily by beginners?
  1. How easy is the software to use? Is the interface user-friendly? Or will it require a specialized training to be used?
  1. What are the other costs that you have to pay other than the startup cost? Will there be ongoing maintenance fees? How much are the subscription fees? How often will the prices go up? Try to read reviews of best audit software to compare the prices between applications.

Reporting Capabilities

This criterion will look at how the software can handle the reports that it will generate. Reports are important to help the efficiency of the business. Here are some questions to help you rate the audit tools you are considering:

  1. There are definitions that you have to set for your reports. Will these definitions be modified in the software? Can they be saved? Or do you have to modify the definitions every time you input data and generate a report?
  1. What are the reporting capabilities of the software? Here are some capabilities that you might like to see in the software:
    1. Effective comparison of data
    2. Understandable statistics
    3. Ability to present trends using the data provided
    4. Capability to offer solutions and concrete conclusions
  1. Does the software allow thecreation of ad hoc reports? These are reports that users can easily make easily. This will also allow modifications of previously made reports. It would also be wise to ask if there are limitations when it comes to ad hoc reports. For example,will there be passwords required to modify a previously made report?
  1. What are the audit management software’s formatting options? If you have no problem with any default format the software has, then you can just ignore this question. But having the option to format your reports is always a good idea. It should be additional points to the service provider if they offer font control and other advanced formatting selections.
  1. Will multiple line reports be supported by the software?
  1. Are pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs, histograms and other form of graphic presentations available? If not, how are data presented?
  1. What functions are supported by the software? When the software makes reports, how are data analyzed? Here are some functions that you might want to ask the service provider about:
    1. Standard deviation
    2. Mean
    3. Average
    4. Total
    5. Mode
  1. What are the sampling methods that the software support? Here are some methods that you should ask the service provider about:
    1. Fixed interval
    2. Top stratum
    3. Random
    4. Snowball

Record Capabilities

The third criterion is how the software will keep the recorded data and information. This will tackle on how files are stored and manipulated, if these options are available. Here are the questions to evaluate this capability:

  1. Is sorting using more than one field available? Will the software be able to support sorting using a lot and different fields?
  1. Will filtering be available? This means that you can select or exclude records based on specific values that you enter into the field. To know if this is available with the software you are considering, try to read reviews of audit software available in many review sites.
  1. Can records be extracted from old files to create new files?
  1. Can the software handle more than one file at a time? Are merging and appending available with the software?
  1. How will the software handle databases from other applications? Will the database need to be converted or can it be used as is?
  1. What files can the software handle? Can it handle the most common file extensions of databases?
  1. How are the records shown? Are they interactive? Can the records be displayed according to the fields defined?
  1. What report files can the software support and read?
  1. Can the software support different record types in one file?

Programming Capabilities

This will test how easy it is to make the software your own:

  1. Does the software allow the creation of your own scripts? Will the software be able to run scripts from you? Or will you need permission from the software provider to introduce new scripts to the software?
  1. What programming language is available in the software? There might be a need to code a script to handle complex functions so you need to know what language you should make the script in or if the language allows coding.

Support Capabilities

It is important that you are able to get in touch with the software provider whenever you encounter problems with the software. Here are some questions you can ask to gauge the support capabilities of a service provider:

  1. Are the customer service representatives knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the software? Will they be able to answer all the questions you might have?
  1. What support services does the company offer its clients? Will there be training available? How are consulting services done?
  1. Is there regional representation? Will there be a local office for the software company?
  1. Are there updates to the software? How often are updates available?

The above mentioned questions will really help you rank and gauge the software that you might choose to use for your business. After answering all questions, tally up the points and compare companies. Then, get the top three and read some reviews of best audit software just to know what others are saying about the software.

Looking for the best audit software? Check out CrowdReviews.com for reviews and rankings.

Trevor Price

Trevor Price helps small businesses leverage mobile technology to reach their audience and extend their capabilities in delivery, information, and tracking.

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