Audit Teleworking asset threat dismissed by APB

A warning that auditors will struggle to track a company’s IT assets with the rise of ‘teleworking’ has been dismissed by the Auditing Practices Board, writes Nick Huber.

With companies of all sizes using laptops and modems to link employees to the office, working from home has become an increasingly popular option.

By the end of the year it is estimated that 10 million people will be working from home across Europe.

George Snelgrove, managing director of fixed asset management specialist Brittania Software, said FDs and auditors would find it increasingly difficult to track equipment.

‘Most accountants rely on physical verification to prove assets are still where they should be,’ said Snelgrove.

‘But this becomes increasingly difficult when kit is removed from the workplace.’

Setting up an employee to work from home costs around £6,000 and companies need guidelines for monitoring the kit and upgrades, he added.

But Jon Grant, technical director of the Auditing Practices Board, said companies which regularly updated their register of assets should not experience problems with teleworking. ‘The emphasis should be on the controls companies have in place rather than the audit inspection,’ he said.

However, teleworking raised a problem of auditors not being able to question staff in person.

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