Who likes to be audited?  Not me! But, we don’t have a choice sometimes.  But my friends thought it was funny.  They laughed at me.  They thought it was funny that I was being audited and were anxious to hear the horror story.

It happened many years ago when Electronic Content Management systems were fairly new, I got a letter that my business was going to have a  sales tax audit. When I shared this news with several of my friends wanting their advice.  All they did was laugh and predicted that the auditors would make my life miserable.  They said that the auditors would find all kinds of things that would cost me additional taxes and fines. They had me worried.

The day the audit started out bad.  It had snowed the night before, and to make the morning commute even worse,  the wind had come up and made the roads icy.  The wind chill and traffic delays had put everyone on edge, including the auditor who showed up at my office two hours late.

She sat down and started by telling me that for a company my size this would be a two or three-day process and that she would start by looking at copies of our invoices for the past 3 years. I told her that I had gotten rid of all my paper invoices after I scanned them into my Laserfiche document management system and that we would have to look them up online. Now, that put her in an even worse mood. She demanded paper copies of all the information she requested. I assured her that I would assist her and that she had nothing to worry about.

I don’t think she was convinced, but we started the process. First, she asked for a list of AR and AP for a certain period. She watched, and within a few seconds, I had the info on the screen, but she was not satisfied because she didn’t have a piece of paper with the information on it. I hit the print button and quickly got the reports into her hands. Then she asked for a certain item that was purchased and the proof that it was sold to a customer. A simple search produced the information in seconds. She was amazed, but not happy until she a printed copy in her hands

Then, I think, it became a game. She would ask me for something and I would easily find it. She picked a serial number of a computer we purchased and wanted to know who it was sold to. That was no problem for me; I just did a quick full-text search on the serial number and Laserfiche did it’s magic, on my screen were all the documents related to that serial number. I was able to show her not just the one document she was looking for, but every document with that serial number on it: the packing slip, the bill from the vendor, the work order to install it, the invoice billing the client, and even the service orders when we worked on that computer.

After a few hours of this, the game was over. She was convinced. She said that in 20 years, she had never such an easy audit.

My friends were shocked and maybe a little saddened when I told them how easy the audit went.