IFTA Opening Conference (A630.100) The opening or initial conference may be: – In person – By telephone – In writing (by fax, email, or snail mail) It must communicate: – Licensee’s business operation/overview of company – Audit procedures to be performed – Records that will need to be examined – Sampling periods
IRP Opening Conference (APM 402) An opening conference held to discuss: – Registrant’s operation/overview of company – Distance accounting system – Records, sampling (procedure, periods, etc.) Auditor must document conference with: – Date of opening conference – Auditors and Licensee’s Representatives attending opening conference – Details of the meeting
Principles for Communication Be curious, positive, and patient Be an active listener – Ask questions. Show an interest in the business – Respectfully acknowledge opinions – Restate answers by paraphrasing – Be friendly and approach the audit in a positive manner
Initial/Opening Conference Knowing HOW to ask the questions is as important as WHAT to ask
Types of Questions Closed Question – provides a single word or very short response Open Question – results in a longer answer, usually start with what, why, how, tell me or describe Funnel Question – a string of questions starting out very general and becoming more specific or detail
Types of Questions Probing question – another way to obtain more detail information, questions will include the word exactly Leading question – will lead an individual towards your thinking, questions may include an assumption, personal appeal to agree, an easy simple response or choice between two points
Types of Questions Question Identification Exercise
Question #2 Tell me how you determine your total and jurisdictional miles?
Question #3 Your fuel purchases are recorded in liters as opposed to gallons?
Question #4 Exactly how do you determine your reported total gallons and tax paid?
Question #5 Describe your mileage accounting system?
Question #6 You have one IRP Fleet? Your registration information shows you have increased from two to four fleets? The number of vehicles you have apportioned has not changed, why the increase in the number fleets?
Question #7 Do you maintain a bulk tank disbursement log?
Question #8 Mileage information for your vehicles not monitored by GPS is done by a driver prepared Daily Log which includes required IRP information?
Listening Skills Verbal Cues – Pay attention to the speaker – Ask clarifying questions – Rephrase what was said to ensure understanding Nonverbal Cues – Body language – Hand gestures – Eye contact
Initial/Opening Conference Do you ask about what you know already?
Case Study: Pre-Audit Information Licensee/Registrant with three locations Single IFTA reported from central location All vehicles are single fuel type (DSL) IFTA travel: AAA, CCC, & DDD Multiple registration records show: Three registration accounts Vehicle weights from 26K lbs. to 80K GVW IRP travel: AAA, BBB, CCC, & DDD Assume conference is with the authorized company representative
Case Study: Vehicles Units in your IFTA fleet (by weight & fuel type)? DieselGasOther IRP Fleet 10-26K over 26K7 1 IRP Fleet 20-26K over 26K1 IRP Fleet 30-26K over 26K11 2
Case Study: Vehicles What questions do you want to ask?
Case Study: Trip records Trip records include the following: Flt 1Flt 2Flt 3 Driver's nameXXX Vehicle numberXXX Routes traveledXX Total distanceXXX Trip date (Start/End)XXX Fuel purchased Trip number Trailer numberX Odometer readingXXX Trip origin/destinationXX Distance by jurisdictionX
Case Study: Trip records What questions do you want to ask?
Case Study: Mileage/Fuel Cutoff What is the cutoff date to meet reporting deadline? Flt 1Flt 2Flt 3 What day of the month?5th Month the trip begins? Month the trip ends? Other X Fleet C: End of the Quarter
Case Study: Mileage/Fuel Cutoff What questions do you want to ask?
Reference Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends And Influence People Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High