Procurement is the process companies use to acquire the economic resources necessary to produce goods and services. Large organisations typically have a manager or department responsible for this function, while smaller businesses rely on the owner to complete these tasks and activities. Owners and managers may create checklists when assessing what materials are necessary for business services, such as auditing. Auditing is often a third-party review of a company’s operational or financial information.
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Hiring an accounting firm to complete external audits commonly requires official bids. The procurement department will contact various accounting firms and provide basic information on the type and scope of an audit. This allows firms to respond with their basic audit plans and the pricing that goes along with this service. Companies can compare the bids and review the professionalism and capability of each accounting firm. Bids may also come from nonaccounting firms if the audit is more operational or compliance in nature.
Although auditors will typically have their own computers and programs to review the company’s accounting information, companies will often need to provide cables, routers and digital licenses for connecting to the company’s intranet or software. Companies may need to purchase these items to ensure auditors can have access to the necessary portions of the computerised programs or applications. The number of auditors and locations that they will visit can influence the equipment purchases made by the procurement department.
The procurement department can often help companies negotiate contracts with accounting firms or other agencies conducting audits. The negotiation process typically includes the chief financial officer and accounting controller. The procurement manager may help negotiate payment terms or other financial issues relating to the audit process. Publicly held companies may attempt to negotiate more since government regulations require these companies to undergo more frequent audits, increasing operating costs.
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