IFTA Closing Conference (A650.100) The closing conference may be: – In person, – By telephone, – In writing (by fax, email, or snail mail). It must communicate: – Preliminary findings with penalty and interest, – Recommendations for improvement, – Rights to appeal, – Who gets the audit report.
IFTA Closing Conference (A650.200) An audit conducted in accordance to R1210: – No closing conference is required, but – The auditor must document why no closing conference was held. R1210 allows an assessment, when the licensee: – Does not file a return, – Does not provide records, – Does not keep records showing true liability.
IRP Exit Conference (APM 404) An exit conference should be held to: – Review identified, documented audit issues, – Preliminary findings. Auditor must document conference with: – Overview of the post Audit process, – Recommendations for improvement, – Rights of appeal, – Who gets the audit report. If no conference possible, document why.
Planning your Closing Conference Prepare for the closing conference – Review the file and draft report (be prepared) – The audit findings: What issues are there? Prepare an Agenda to help guide you through the conference. What will the licensee/registrant ask? Express the findings – Clearly. – Without judgment.
Exit Meeting Purpose To provide the Registrant/Taxpayer with an understanding of the contents of the draft report and any concerns that may not be set out in the report. Help avoid any misunderstanding or misrepresentation of facts by providing the auditee the opportunity to clarify specific issues and express their views on significant audit findings & recommendations.
Effective Closing/Exit Conference What can you do to ensure your conference is effective and successful?
Effective Exit Meeting Meeting should be open and courteous. Summarize what was done. Outline significant audit concerns & recommendations. Provide justification for conclusions & recommendations.
Effective Exit Meeting Highlight any audit concerns which have already been addressed/corrected. Be willing and able to discuss all matters in whatever detail is necessary. Be sure all significant matters have been discussed so the report contains no surprises.
Principles for Communication Be curious, positive, and patient. Be an active listener. – Ask questions. (Open/Closed) – Respectfully acknowledge opinions. – Restate answers by paraphrasing. – Be friendly and approach the audit in a positive manner.
Principles for Communication Be confident, however be careful not to sound arrogant or aggressive. Be able to give and receive Feedback. Be clear and concise, provide your message in as few words as possible. Avoid interrupting the respondent.
Case Study: Audit Findings 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 26,000 lbs. to 80,000 lbs. GVW. IRP travel: AAA, BBB, CCC, & DDD. Assume conference is with the authorized company representative.
Closing Conference Case Study Distance Summary Error: – The auditor found no trip records for BBB. – All fuel was purchased at local fueling station across the street from Location 3 headquarters. – Location 3 had other trucks registered for AAA travel plus the IRP trucks registered for AAA & BBB.
Closing Conference Case Study Fuel Summary Error: – All fuel is purchased in AAA at Location 1, 2, or 3 headquarters. – Fueling station is across the street from the various location head quarters. – Vehicles return each night to fleet headquarters.
Closing/Exit Conference “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I'm here to help.’ “ Ronald Reagan
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