Crown Commercial Service
How to prepare for a software audit and avoid excess charges
In this article, discover our top tips to help you avoid unexpected auditing costs from your software supplier.
No organisation wants to be audited, but the fact is, you are likely to face an audit from a supplier at some point so it’s important to be prepared. This is particularly true for software consumers – anyone with a software supplier contract will be aware that they need to be careful to ensure license compliance, ensuring that all of their users are only using applications they are licensed for.
This has become more important than ever in recent years. There are several organisations that have acquired smaller software suppliers, and are now using those acquisitions to drive additional revenue streams through auditing their customers. Most contracts include ‘self declaration license products’ unrestricted by license keys, and often addenda for free license use. Customers without adequate records are at risk, as these organisations can make substantial claims based on several years of accounts, with charges based on recommended retail price (RRP) rates rather than the preferential rates that could have been negotiated in advance.
Luckily, this risk can be mitigated. Here are our recommended top tips to help you avoid unexpected auditing costs:
- good contract management including clear paperwork
- good software asset management including regular monitoring of software licensing requirements
- take any audit communication seriously, and raise immediately with your contract manager and/or procurement team
- reach out for support if needed
- analyse the audit toolset and the information being presented – check for errors, backdating, interest, and any other additional charges for licenses
- do not accept initial claims from the supplier at face value, but do take care to meet deadlines
- be mindful of any aggressive tactics from the supplier, such as early completion offers
- ensure any agreed claims are full and final settlements, with full license entitlement documentation
Support when you need it
Don’t forget, we have a team of software industry experts here to support you. If you receive notification of an audit, you can contact us by completing our online form or if you would like to speak to a member of a team, call us on 0345 410 2222.
Please note due to resource constraints, we can only support audits of over £300,000 value.
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