A Publication of WTVP

Practicing proper etiquette will help build rapport and provide your client a great experience.

It’s Sunday night, and you’re anticipating the coming week. As you prepare your mind for the next audit, you run down your typical considerations. Will my flight be on time? Will the paperwork be ready? Will coffee be available? I hope we meet budget. But as an external auditor, how much time do you spend considering the specific needs of your clients? How would you say your auditing approach is perceived?

A good audit is not just about the numbers. It’s also about how you conduct the audit and interact with your clients. Thinking beyond checklists and accounting standards to the people involved is essential to building and maintaining business relationships. Such relationships always involve mutual trust, respect and commonality of purpose. Practicing the right professional manners will do much towards building that rapport and providing your client with a great audit experience. Failing to practice proper etiquette can place bumps in the road.

My observations point to the following rules of etiquette for auditors during their onsite fieldwork. Some of these may be obvious to you; perhaps others you haven’t considered.

Much can be said regarding etiquette in a handful of other areas as well, such as client meetings, professional attire and client entertainment. While these situations are not covered here, all rules of etiquette can be summed up as treating others with preference and respect. Continue practicing great etiquette, and you’ll see yourself grow as a professional and improve the quality of services you deliver. iBi