- Filip Lauwereys, ASIST
- Richard Spithoven, B.Lay
- Max Ablimit, Tarim Consulting, LLC
- Eric Chiu, HW Fisher & Company
- Three anonymous company contributors
- Audit defense starts long before you get audited. Negotiating your vendors’ audit rights and maintaining a documented consolidated licensing position ensure that you are not blindsided by a sudden audit request.
- Notification of an impending audit can cause panic. Don't panic. While the notification will be full of strong language, your best chance of success is to take control of the situation. Prepare a measured response that buys you enough time to get your house in order before you let the vendor in.
- If a free software asset review sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. If a vendor or one of its partners offers up a free software asset management engagement, they aren’t doing so out of the goodness of their heart — they expect to recoup their costs (and then some) from identified license discrepancies.
- The amount of business disruption depends on the scope of the audit, and the size and complexity of the organization coupled with the contractual audit clause in the contract.
- These highly visible failures can be prevented through effective software asset management practices.
- As complexity of licensing increases, so do penalties. If the environment is highly complex, prioritize effort by likelihood of audit and spend.
- Ensure electronic records exist for license documentation to provide fast access for audit and information requests
- Verify accuracy of discovered data. Ensure all devices on the network are being audited. Without a complete discovery process, data will always be inaccurate.
Impact and Result
- Being able to respond quickly with accurate data is critical. When deadlines are tight, and internal resources don’t exist, hire a third party as their experience will allow a faster response.
- Negotiate terms of the audit such as deadlines, proof of license entitlement, and who will complete the audit.
- Create a methodology to quickly and efficiently respond to audit requests.
- Conduct annual internal audits.
- Have a designated cross-functional IT audit team.
- Prepare documentation in advance.
- Manage audit logistics to minimize business disruption.
- Dispute unwarranted findings.
Start here – read the Executive Brief
Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should be prepared and ready to defend against a software audit, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.
1. Prevent an audit
Begin your proactive audit management journey and leverage value from your software asset management program.
2. Prepare for an audit
Prepare for an audit by effectively scoping and consolidating organizational response.
3. Conduct the audit
Execute the audit in a way that preserves valuable relationships while accounting for vendor specific criteria.
4. Manage post-audit activities
Conduct negotiations, settle on remuneration, and close out the audit.
This guided implementation is a thirteen call advisory process.
Guided Implementation #1 - Prevent an audit
Call #1 - Red flags leading to increased odds of an audit
Call #2 - Maturity assessment and conducting an internal audit
Call #3 - Structuring and preparing an audit team
Guided Implementation #2 - Prepare for an audit
Call #1 - Steps to take upon notification
Call #2 - Examine the various engagement requests from self-audit to formal
Call #3 - Defining the scope and how to respond
Guided Implementation #3 - Conduct the audit
Call #1 - Overview of processes conducted
Call #2 - Kick off and discuss the confirmed audit scope
Call #3 - Prioritize business continuity
Call #4 - Working with auditor personality types
Guided Implementation #4 - Manage post-audit activities
Call #1 - Discuss the results of the audit
Call #2 - Discuss the validity of the findings
Call #3 - Negotiation terms and close out
Book Your Workshop
Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.
Module 1: Prevent an Audit
- Kick off the project
- Identify challenges and red flags
- Determine maturity and outline internal audit
- Clarify stakeholder responsibilities
- Build and structure audit team
Key Benefits Achieved
- Leverage value from your audit management program
- Begin your proactive audit management journey
- A documented consolidated licensing position, which ensures that you are not blindsided by a sudden audit request
Perform a maturity assessment of the current environment
- Maturity assessment
Classify licensing contracts/vendors
Conduct a software inventory
Meter application usage
Gather software licensing data
- Effective license position/license reconciliation
Create your audit team and assign accountability
- Audit team RACI chart
Module 2: Prepare for an Audit
- Create a strategy for audit response
- Know the types of requests
- Scope the engagement
- Understand scheduling challenges
- Know roles and responsibilities
- Understand common audit pitfalls
- Define audit goals
Key Benefits Achieved
- Take control of the situation and prepare a measured response
- A dedicated team responsible for all audit-related activities
- A formalized audit plan containing team responsibilities and audit conduct policies
Use Info-Tech’s readiness assessment template
- Readiness assessment
Define the scope of the audit
- Audit scoping email template
Module 3: Conduct the Audit
- Overview of process conducted
- Kick-off and self-assessment
- Identify documentation requirements
- Prepare required documentation
- Data validation process
- Provide resources to enable the auditor
- Tailor audit management to vendor compliance position
- Enforce best-practice audit behaviors
Key Benefits Achieved
- A successful audit with minimal impact on IT resources
- Reduced severity of audit findings
Communicate audit commencement to staff
- Audit launch email template
Module 4: Manage Post-Audit Activities
- Clarify auditor findings and recommendations
- Access severity of audit findings
- Develop a plan for refuting unwarranted findings
- Disclose findings to management
- Analyze opportunities for remediation
- Provide remediation options and present potential solutions
Key Benefits Achieved
- Ensure your audit was productive and beneficial
- Improve your ability to manage audits
- Come to a consensus on which findings truly necessitate organizational change
Don't accept the penalties; negotiate with vendors
Close the audit and assess the financial impact
- A consensus on which findings truly necessitate organizational change