The Minimalist Auditor

Do you like to travel light? Here's some ideas to lessen your load.

Are you a minimalist auditor?

I remember when I would load my audit files on a hand-truck (I’m not kidding), especially for local government audits. I felt like I worked for a moving company rather than a CPA firm.

My back is thankful for paperless software.

In the present age of minimalism, everything is smaller, even the audit gear we use. Scanners, monitors, cell phones, tablets, projectors–all are more compact. For the traveling auditor, this is like manna from heaven.

Let me suggest a few hardware and software ideas to lighten your load.

minimalist auditor

Courtesy of iStockphoto

Scanner

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Document Scanner

The weight is 4.9 pounds and the cost is $249.99. It has a ten-page document feeder.

If you want a lighter scanner with fewer features, try the ScanSnap S1100, weighing only 12.3 ounces. The cost is $169.99.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 CLR 600DPI USB Mobile Scanner (PA03610-B005)

Can’t spare the traveling space for a scanner? Or maybe you’d rather not spend the money? Buy the cell phone scanning app: Scanbot. The cost is $1.99. Scanbot is available on iPhones and Android phones. The app can scan multiple pages and will–once you tweak the settings–automatically feed output to a cloud product such as Evernote. Alternatively, you can email the scans.

Ten-Key

I use a Dell laptop that has a ten-key pad built into the keyboard, so I don’t need a separate adding machine. I use Judy’s TenKey software; the cost is $19.95.

Cell Phone

Apple iPhone 6s

I use an iPhone 6S and love the feel and intelligence of this device. The battery life is substantial and the weight is 6 ounces. It fits in my pant’s pocket.

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Most cell phone companies offer Internet hotspots. Since you probably already own a cell phone, there is no need for an additional physical device for an Internet connection. Check with your cell phone company about activating the hotspot. The cost will be about $30 per month.

Tablet

Apple iPad mini MD529LL/A (32GB, Wi-Fi, Black)

I am an Apple fan, so you know I will recommend the iPad mini which can be purchased for as little as $279 (16GB model) on Amazon. The weight is less than 1 pound.

Projector

AAXA P4 P4X Pico Projector, 95 Lumens, Pocket Size, Li-Ion Battery, HDMI, Media Player, 15,000 Hour LED, DLP Projector

The Pico Projector is pocket sized and, at $240, provides you with 125 lumens. The dimensions are 5.6 x 2.7 x 1.2 inches and it weighs 12.8 ounces.

Your Ideas?

How do you lighten your traveling load? Please share your ideas.

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4 thoughts on “The Minimalist Auditor

  1. Armando,

    I sure like using the lighter weight methods of today. I recall trunks being used when I came along.

    I like your ideas of using client devices (e.g., printers and scanners) where possible. The less to carry, the better.

    Hope you are having a nice spring.

  2. Today very different from not so many years ago, I used to audit a one hundred eighty-retail stores chain, which was an SEC company. Between the inventory of each store and all other work papers, it took about seven to nine trunks. Upon completion of the audit, heading for our office, we put the trunks with padlocks in a client’s truck, with one of our auditors as a custodian.
    I have been thinking on having all of the portable devices to take to the field, but I have had no need for that. First, I do most and all-possible work in my office. Second, clients give me documentation in PDF, Word, or Excel. When in the field, my computer is connected to a company’s printer and I have access to their scanner. Finally, during the last two years I have been able to use a company’s monitor as a second monitor. Years ago, I bought a portable PaperPort portable scanner, which was very good; however, very seldom I took out to the field.