How likely is a software vendor audit?

19 June 2023

Michaela Gray


Your organisation’s chances of receiving a software audit notice is at an all-time high, which is unsurprising given that global inflation is impacting all types of businesses and audits are a revenue generator for software vendors. But it’s not just the chances that are high, the costs associated with non-compliance are too, so it’s important that your organisation knows when to expect a software vendor audit and how to prepare for it.



When can I expect a software vendor audit?

Although there doesn’t seem to be a definitive reason behind what prompts a software vendor to audit an organisation, our specialists have identified three triggers that often result in an audit.

1. Business growth

If your revenue increases, or your company expands, it often means a change or increase in licencing, which could alert vendors to the need to audit

2. Licencing history

Anytime your organisation reduces or increases its licence purchases, it can raise questions about how your organisation is remaining compliant, leading to a software vendor audit.

3. Tech evolution

Virtual desktops, bring your own device (BYOD), and cloud make already complicated licencing terms even more challenging. So, if you’re organisation is going through a period of digital transformation it could prompt an auditor visit.


Which software vendor is most likely to audit?

According to ITAM Review, the vendors most likely to audit customers are, but not limited to:

  • Micro Focus
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • Quest
  • Adobe

As most organisations purchase and use software and hardware from at least three of these vendors, which could mean up to three potential audits within the next 12-months.


How do I prevent a software vendor audit?

The simple answer is you can’t. Every organisation will receive multiple software vendor audits over time, so there’s no preventing them, however you can proactively prepare for them to ensure as little disruption as possible.


How do I prepare for a software vendor audit?

Being proactive and prepared is often better than acting in response to an existing challenge, and this is very true when it comes to software vendor audits. Invest time in creating a software asset management (SAM) program that ensures you’re ready to respond quickly and confidently to an audit request, reducing the impact and repercussions of a software vendor audit on your organisation.


Prepare for a software vendor audit in seven steps

  1. Gather all necessary documentation: this includes purchase orders, invoices, contracts, and any other documentation that shows your organisation’s compliance with software licence agreements
  2. Conduct a self-audit: review your software inventory, usage data, and purchase records to identify any potential issues with your current licence usage
  3. Address any issues: if issues are identified during the self-audit, take steps to correct them. This may include purchasing additional licences or removing software that is no longer needed
  4. Document your process: keep detailed records of the steps you have taken to prepare for the audit, including any issues identified and the steps taken to correct them
  5. Review and update your software licence agreements: make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the software licence agreements and are aware of any changes or updates
  6. Appoint a designated point of contact: choose someone within your organisation who will be responsible for communicating with auditors and make sure they understand the audit process and have all the information they need
  7. Work with a License Dashboard SAM specialist: our specialists provide guidance to ensure that your organisation is compliant

Even before you receive an audit notice, using this process regularly as a ‘test-run’ will make your organisation more confident in responding to an audit, prevent a rush to action issues before an audit, and ensure that you are more likely to pass when you are audited.

Support from License Dashboard for software vendor audits

Our tailored SAM services give you full visibility of your IT estate across all platforms and devices, including usage data within your organisation. Our flagship product, reduces the disruption caused by vendor audits, while optimising your current licences and managing unbudgeted IT spend.

Talk to our SAM specialists today about your current audit processes and how to prepare for an audit with our support.


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Michaela has worked within the industry for over 11 years, both within sales and marketing. She works closely with the team to support them with all their marketing needs and maintains and promotes the License Dashboard brand.

Michaela Gray

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