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    Significance Of Rapport Building With Clients

    It is important to develop good working relationships with clients to ensure effective audit engagement.

    To be a successful auditor it is essential to build rapport with the audit client. There are several approaches and techniques related to rapport building. Auditors can adopt certain means in the course of their work to build a strong rapport with the client which will assist in maximizing the success of the audit function. The approaches include knowledge of client business, acting proactively, active listening, problem solving skills and a partnering approach to the relationships.

    Knowledge of client business

    To gain deep insight of the client business and processes it is very essential to review prior audit work papers including financial statements, understanding key performance metrics, trends for the area being reviewed. In depth understanding of the laws and regulations are all means to demonstrate an understanding of the business. An auditor who demonstrates their understanding of client business or processes that is being audited is often respected by the clients. For the areas of any uncertainty, auditors should consider discussing any questions with client management team.

    Acting Proactively

    Advance planning, proactive communication and advanced scheduling of meetings, arrivingto meetings on time and keeping to scheduled time and agenda items thus demonstrate respect for client time, hence will provide an opportunity to auditors to build rapport with the clients. Additionally, auditors should confirm their information requirement list is comprehensive to minimise any back and forth communication with the client. At the commencement of the engagement the auditor shall identify and understand the client’s communication preferences. The auditor should evaluate the form of communication to ensure it is the most effective method of communication to obtain necessary communication.

    Active listening

    Active listening play a vital role to increase rapport with the client, auditors should approach the meetings, interviews, and other interaction with the goal of active listening. Various obstacles to listening can prevent auditors from truly understanding the message being conveyed by the client. If needed the auditor should consider paraphrasing what has been said by the client to the client to ensure an accurate understanding of process and information relayed.

     

    Problem solving skills

    Engagements shall be approached by the auditors not only keeping in mind about the external and internal environment of the business and its unit but also with the motive to analyse the information gathered, including any exceptions identified to determine the who, why, where, when, what and how behind the information. This approach may assist auditor to identify risks that were not considered in prior audits. Close interactions with the client would help to recognize the most appropriate solutions for any risks that are uncovered thereby maximizing the audit effectiveness.

    Strategic partner

    Auditors have an opportunity to build rapport with and gain respect from, their clients by developing a partnering approach to the relationship. This include working closely with the clientto truly understand the root causes behind any issue identified and working recommendations that not only address the root cause but also consider the associated benefits and costs. This can incorporate reporting to senior management best practices client has implemented within its organization and sharing best practices that the auditor has seen within other operating units.

    Impact of rapportbuilding

    Developing good working relationship with the client not only make the day– to-day audit process more enjoyable for the auditor and the client, it also lead to a more successful audit function that will add value to the clients. Always look at the long term, not the short term with clients. Building trust is the key so that clients talk openly and we become their trusted advisor.

    FUNDAMENTALSOF RAPPORT BUILDING

     

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