2008 Nebraska Joint Audit

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					2008 Nebraska Joint Audit
      Late in 2007 the jurisdiction of Nebraska started

     planning a joint audit of one of its mega carriers.

The problem that faced the Nebraska staff was how to audit a carrier that is
     listed as one of North America’s top 100 largest carriers-- within a
            reasonable time frame and with an audit staff of only 6.

                  Several issues were considered-
     How much time would it take to complete an IFTA and IRP audit?
    Should we be concerned over our yearly IFTA and IRP audit count?
If we asked others to help, could the audit be completed faster, and in more
                                     detail?
                        Would people come to help?
Did we want to have over a dozen other jurisdictions and nearly 30 auditors
               scrutinizing our every move, our every decision?
Who's responsibility is it to audit a mega
               carrier?

In the case of the Nebraska audit, the carrier operated
   thousands of power units in all of North America.

        They reported travel in all jurisdictions.

  Of its hundreds of millions of miles traveled per year,
less than 5% of those miles were traveled in Nebraska.
   The other 95% was traveled in your jurisdictions.
 When the decision was made that we could not go it
  alone and finish the work before we retired- we
        considered a whole host of issues-

            When would the audit be done?
          How many auditors would we need?
                   Would they come?
                    Who do you ask?
                   When do you ask?
              How long did we need help?
Would we have disagreements? How would they be handled?
                    Software issues?
                     Travel issues?
                    Funding issues
           Differences in audit methodology
                IFTA or IRP only auditors
                    Weather issues
  Who is in charge and how far do you let the other
     jurisdictions have a say in the audit results?
Do you ask for experienced people or will new auditors
                         be ok?

Then, there was the necessary little things to consider-
              Hotel and transportation
   How to get staff to and from the audit location?
                 When do you ask for help?


 If you live up north, don’t start your audit in February when
                  weather can be a travel issue.
 (Anyway, people down south don’t own coats, so they will not come!).


Beware of other “joint audits” going on during yours!
You have to give people time to decide if they can come once
  you ask.
Do your audit as soon as possible in the beginning of the
  year.
  Think logically, think weeks and months
                   ahead…
          How many auditors can you host at one time?

When the decision was made to ask for help, we knew we couldn’t
                  fly in 30 auditors all at once.
How long would it take to get 30 people organized and running if
                             you did?

 Make it easy on others and yourself. Set aside a reasonable time
table and set those dates out for people and jurisdictions to decide
when they can and can not come. If you estimate the audit will take
6 weeks to schedule the miles and fuel, then tell people you have a
            choice of which 6 weeks they could attend.

                     This worked like a charm.
                 You'll wear a few hats-

                      Be a sales person-
               Its ok to grovel when you need help.

                       Be a travel agent-
People don’t know your little corner of the world as well as you do.
 If you want people to come, you have to roll out the red carpet.

            Talk and walk like you have a plan-
            You’re the leader, think of the unexpected.
                Be ready before people show up.
   What jurisdiction selection criteria was used?
  -Start with the IFTA and IRP reports and returns.-

What jurisdiction had the highest mileage percentages?
                   Further considerations-

                      How large is the fleet?
               What kind of records do they have?
           (Get your head around this issue quickly!)
Paper records vs. electronic records will make a huge difference in
                               time.
            How many years are you going to audit?
          How many units will be in your sample size?
 How many miles or trips does an average unit travel per quarter?
    Know where all their IFTA and IRP accounts are located.
                   Sample size is key

1 unit per auditor per day divided by the number in the
         sample plus 10% more time to cover-

                   Auditor experience-
    Instruction in using different working papers-
                      Auditor pace-
     and the little surprises that always come up.

               Other issues to consider-

       Will Audit Committees members be on your list?
 Who’s responsible for the decisions of the audit?
            This is a disputed and often questioned issue.
     Nebraska viewed its assisting jurisdictions as “Partners”.

If we are truly uniform, there should be no issue or differences in the
        audit methodology, interpretation or application of audit
        adjustments. If you feel there is, do we have a problem?

 In the Nebraska joint audit, everyone had an equal say. Issues were
 discussed and decided as a group. Nobody's thoughts were ignored or
     discounted. We only had two issues during the entire audit that
  required a vote of opinions--- and when that was done, we all agreed
              and respected the results of those decisions.
         I cannot over stress the importance of this..
The most important thing to remember is to LISTEN and
                keep an open mind.

Can you afford to go it alone? Who wins when you ask
                        for help?

                     Everyone.
   Joint audits could offer you some benefits-

Legal actions-
Large audits always draw attention and scrutiny.

How do you reduce the chances of dispute?
Take the time to discuss and fix your differences. You might
  find you'll learn something.
               What did we learn?
                             Myths-
               “Nobody will go due to travel costs”-
   NOT TRUE. Only 2 jurisdictions I asked were unable to come.
  Matter of fact, several jurisdictions offered to send more auditors for
                           longer periods of time!

  You'll have software issues between auditor programs-
    NOT TRUE. I've never understood this argument.. What software
    issues? Only the base jurisdiction runs up the results of the audit
   findings using their audit software/program. The base created the
  worksheets that were circulated between all the auditors to use when
they arrived. It took only moments to upload the working papers to their
 lap-tops, and within minutes the auditor was scheduling miles and fuel.
       IFTA only auditors vs. IRP only auditors
      This made absolutely no difference what-so-ever.

Who is in charge and how far do you let the other
   jurisdictions have a say in the audit results?
                   The base is in charge.
           Let everyone have a say. Why not?

   Do you ask for experienced people or will new
                   auditors be ok?
                There were benefits of both!
   The benefits of joint audits..
  If you don’t have a large enough staff, do you have a choice?
  With others- you are able to complete, what otherwise maybe
                    difficult to complete alone.

    The “audit” is completed faster for both you and the carrier.
The more jurisdictions that are involved with the process, the fewer
 problems you may have later in a dispute. For those jurisdictions
            with mega carriers, this is a real concern.
                     There is value in numbers.

             You may learn something from others…

             More joint audits need to be done.
           Who was there?
ALABAMA         TEXAS        SOUTH DAKOTA

WISCONSIN       KANSAS     SOUTH CAROLINA

OKLAHOMA            IOWA        ONTARIO

PENNSYLVANIA    WYOMING          IDAHO

NEVADA         CONNECTICUT      MISSISSIPPI

         MISSOURI            NEBRASKA

				
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posted:10/13/2012
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