What is an audit proposal?
An audit proposal is a document created by an auditor and sent to potential clients. The intent of the proposal is to persuade the client to hire the sender to perform an audit and convey key information such as pricing and scope. Usually, the document is sent in response to a request for proposal that has been issued by a company.
Internal audit proposal to client vs. external audit proposal to client
Internal audit proposals and external audit proposals are two different types of audit proposals sent by auditors to potential clients. An internal audit is designed to assess an organization’s finances, risks, and internal processes to help management make improvements. They are often ordered by management and may be done by internally sourced accountants.
An external audit is more focused on financials and determining whether a company’s reporting is accurate. They should be independent and are generally commissioned by shareholders. The proposals for these two types of audits reflect these differences and provide a description of what audit services the auditor will provide.
Sending out audit proposals is an important part of being a freelance auditor, and having a good proposal can be the difference between winning and losing a contract. Below, we look at what your proposal should include and tips for writing a great audit proposal.
The fundamental elements of an audit proposal example
All audit proposal templates should include a few things to ensure a potential client will have the details they need and the confidence to hire you as an auditor. Below are the fundamental elements that you should always cover.
Here you should provide a high-level overview of the audit you plan to perform and what you aim to achieve. In this section, you should aim to set the general scope and direction of the proposed audit to give the recipient a good idea of what they can expect from you, and assurance that you will meet all auditing standards.
Often, you will be sending the proposal in response to a request for audit proposal, in which case the potential client should have laid out the details of the audit functions needed. You can use this to tailor the project details section. Alternatively, you may offer a standardized audit service.
Specify the expected timeframe for your audit here. You may even choose to provide more detail than just a fixed submission date, for example by breaking down the project into sections each with their own specified timeframes.
Pricing is always one of the most important considerations for any client when choosing an auditor. Be sure to include a clear indication of the audit cost. To be as transparent as possible, you could also add a brief breakdown of the costs of specific audit services involved, although this isn’t always necessary.
Qualifications and experience auditing
Including some details of your work experience and qualifications can help to differentiate your proposal from others. Try to concisely cover all the key roles you’ve held, audits performed in the past, and any academic and professional qualifications relevant to auditing and assurance services.
Adding a section covering additional services can be an excellent way to upsell and win more business. Additionally, it can effectively demonstrate your value to the recipient as someone worth hiring, with value beyond just your auditing services. For example, you could offer tax preparation, consulting, financial services, assurance services, and other applicable accounting services.
Adding a section for acceptance at the end of the proposal can help to close the deal quickly. This can simply be a signature box for the client to sign if they are interested in working with you.
How to write an audit proposal
A good, professional proposal is often going to be the first communication you have with a new client, so it’s vital that you strike the right chord with the tone and content. Following a few basic guidelines can make a huge difference, help you make a great initial impression and stand out above the competition, and get your foot in the door for additional work and regular communication.
Use a suitable layout
Your target company may receive a large number of proposals, so it’s crucial that the layout of your proposal is simple, easy to follow, and direct. Following a template can help you achieve this and keep the proposal focused so that the reader can get all the info they need from a quick scan of the document.
Include a basic introduction
Start the proposal with a short section explaining why you’re getting in touch and/or thanking the recipient for their request for proposal (if relevant). This can set the tone of the proposal and cover the basic formalities usually necessary for effective business communications.
Outline your process
Any potential client is going to want to understand how you approach the audit process before hiring you, so you should include an outline of how you work. For example, you could break down the services you will offer as part of the audit and define the general scope of the project to convince the reader that you will deliver comprehensive assurance work and auditing.
Be sure to keep a focus on the value your audit can offer the client and assure them you will meet the necessary auditing standards. A good way to do this is to define the deliverables you will provide. Communicating value effectively can require some research to understand the specific goals of the client. This information could be covered in a request for audit proposal, if you’ve been sent one.
Tailor it to each recipient
No potential client wants to receive the exact same standardized proposal from every auditor. For this reason, you should always try to tailor your proposal to each recipient, for example by addressing it to a specific employee in the company, including client-relevant work experience or qualifications, and responding to the points covered in the request for proposal.
Provide a realistic cost estimate
It can be difficult to provide accurate cost estimates for some jobs, especially if you don’t have a lot of details about what’s expected of you. However, it’s important to remember that price is possibly the most important factor for the recipient when choosing an auditor, so you should always try to be as realistic as possible with your estimate. Additionally, you should state the estimate clearly and in a format that the reader can easily find.
Keep it simple
A good general rule is to keep your proposal as simple and concise as possible while still conveying the key information. Keeping things simple and laying everything out clearly can improve reader engagement, help them quickly find the information they need, and increase the chances of a successful conversion.
Creating an audit proposal letter is simple with Bonsai
Managing a freelance career can be tough. Juggling deadlines, keeping tax receipts, dealing with the IRS, and more can all be challenging, not to mention having to present yourself in a professional way to potential clients.
Bonsai proposal templates make building and sending your proposals easy. Just download the proposal, add your details and customize however you like, and start winning new clients.
Save time - Creating your own audit proposal from scratch takes time. With a Bonsai template, you just need to personalize a few key details and it’s ready to send out.
Completely customizable - Edit your template as much or as little as you like to match your business and the client’s expectations to maximize your chances of converting.
Simple, easy-to-read layout - We’ve optimized our templates to be concise and to-the-point to ensure high levels of reader engagement.
Professional - Present your freelance business in the best light to potential clients with Bonsai’s high-quality and professional audit proposal template.
Audit proposal FAQs
What is an audit?
An audit is an assessment of an organization’s finances, risks, and internal processes. An organization will generally bring in an auditor to gain a clear and unbiased view of the state of its finances, the integrity of its reporting, and to identify areas for improvement.
When should you use an audit proposal?
As an auditor, you can send your proposal to any potential clients that you would like to work with. Generally, you would send a proposal in response to a request for audit proposal that you’ve received from an organization.
How long should an audit proposal be?
There is no ideal length for an proposal, and each example will vary depending on the auditor, the recipient, and the specific details of the job. However, you should always try to keep your proposals focused, concise, and clear to maximize your chances of converting clients. An audit proposal template can provide a good indication of the appropriate length.
What other documents do you need for an audit?
Beyond the audit proposal, you should also try to have an audit agreement in place before commencing work with a new client. Once you’ve used our audit proposal template, download other related templates like the Bonsai audit agreement template to save even more time.