For deal-makers worldwide, an audit is rather a usual procedure: from time to time all the documents and the performance of the company have to be checked in order to make sure that everything goes smooth in the firm. Usually, external actors are being involved in the audit as the evaluation should be as independent and objective as possible. Therefore, the company has to prepare an audit data room and expose the documents required by the auditing side.
Today physical audit data room has been substituted by online document storage and sharing services: instead of keeping hundreds of papers in land-based data rooms deal-makers set up cloud storages and invite auditors to work with the data online. The popularity of such solution grows and a few dozens of VDR providers operate in the market.
A quick comparison of data rooms for financial audits gives us a chance to select the most reliable and convenient VDRs:
- iDeals Virtual Data Room has been trusted by deal-makers for almost 10 years;
- Intralinks is one of the oldest players in the market and provides businessmen with document online sharing environment for the last 20 years;
- Merrill Database is among the biggest providers and along with Intralinks it teams up mainly with the large-scale players;
- Ansarada claims to be the leading audit data room in the market as it focuses exclusively on M&A transactions;
- Citrix is a comparatively new virtual data room that collaborates with freemium online file sharing services;
- SmartRoom VDR makes an emphasis on secure file share tools and attracts those deal-makers whose primary concern is the data protection.
Guaranteeing Secure File Share
The key function of any data room is to ensure that the document online sharing would be quick and safe. During an audit, these aspects are extremely crucial as all the VDR documentation and corporate files uploaded to an online audit data room are highly sensitive and confidential. It means that in a course of an audit not a single file may leak or be misused.
To guarantee the data protection VDR providers equip the platforms with a set of tools that should reduce the risk of any possible virtual hazards. For instance, the files contain dynamic watermarks that indicate the name of a user who downloaded or printed it. In addition, the time stamp is also embedded into the file. Owing to virus scanning, no malware is expected to harm the file system. Meanwhile, to enter the system and to get an access to files, every user has to pass a few steps of the authentication process. These basic features help virtual rooms to remain safe and to satisfy the needs of deal-makers in a protected virtual environment for an audit.
Moreover, during the audit, not only security is of a paramount importance – a convenient document management is not less crucial. As the experts have to look through large volumes of information they need special tools that would make their duty easier. Hence, every decent virtual platform is enhanced with sensitive filters and keywords search tools – these functions allow visitors to navigate the room without any efforts. Also, the ability to edit files and to discuss them via the platform saves a considerable amount of time.