08 November 2020
Preparation for an Audit on an Association
It is important to note that the best preparation for an audit is to conduct the daily governance of organizations in accordance with applicable legislation. In addition, it is possible for associations, representatives, direct activity offices and branches of international non-governmental organizations to carry out preparations which will allow for the audit to be completed with few complications as possible.
The audit board is a mandatory body for associations established in Turkey. The main purpose of the audit board is to supervise the association's activities, even if there is no external audit. The audit board is not mandatory for representative offices, direct activity offices and branches of international non-governmental organizations. However, with respect to these organizations internal audit exercises can be conducted by employees and/or legal and financial consultants.
The scope of an internal audit should include all items which would need to be presented during an audit by the General Directorate of Civil Society Relations. Therefore, including issues relating to labor law, tax law and accounting procedures in addition those relating to association legislations within the scope of internal auditing would provide more relevant results. Conducting functional internal auditing activities at least twice a year has great importance in terms of preparation for any external audit.
Preparation of Associations’ Ledgers
An examination of the mandatory ledgers of the organization is an inevitable phase of the audit. These ledgers are the decision ledger (karar defteri), document registration ledger (evrak defteri) and member registration ledger (üye kayıt defteri). In addition, organizations that keep their account on an operation account basis (işletme esası) should keep an operating ledger (işletme defteri) and organizations that keep their account on a balance sheet basis (bilanço esası) should keep a general ledger (yevmiye defteri) and great ledger (defteri kebir).
It is possible to be punished with imprisonment of up to 3 months or a judicial fine if the mandatory ledgers are:
- not being duly kept; or
- not provided when requested by the auditors.
Auditors are obligated to report these situations directly to the Public Prosecutor's Office. For this reason, it is important to keep ready all ledgers which have been kept duly during an audit.
Completing Deficiencies in Associations’ Ledgers
It is important to keep the association ledgers regularly and properly. However, sometimes there may be some deficiencies in the decision ledger such as decisions which have not been notarized or periodic financial decisions that have not been executed. Also, there may be ledgers that have been neglected from time by time, such as members' ledger and document registration ledger. Deficiencies may be completed without carrying out any illegal alteration in the ledgers.
Evaluating Previous Audit Reports
Auditors will check whether advices and suggestions given in the previous audit have been taken into consideration by the organization. Therefore, for organizations that have undergone audits previously, it will be beneficial to examine the previous audit report issued by the Civil Society Relations Directorate. The elimination of deficiencies as per the warnings and recommendations of previous audit reports are instrumental in terms of preparing for future audits.
Representation of the Organization
It has generally accepted that members of the association's board of directors; representatives of the representative office, direct activity or branch representatives, or explicitly authorized persons shall be present during the audit. For this reason, the individuals concerned must be present on the day and time of the audit with the documents that showing their authorities.
Also, it has recommended that individuals that are acquainted with the organization’s activities and documents, such as finance or operations managers, should be present during the audit to answer the questions of the auditors accurately and swiftly.
Pre-audit preparation is vital for the audit to be concluded swiftly and effectively. Pre-audit preparation should be differentiated and detailed by considering the differences between different organizations. We evaluate that conducting such exercise with the assistance of financial and legal consultants will significantly increase the efficiency of the work.