What to Expect During a Managed IT Services Audit

managed IT services audit
The KR Group Managed IT Services Engineer Tyler Mayes works on-site at a customer location.

When you decide to contract with a managed IT service provider (MSP) for IT services, you’ll have a few things to do before they can take over your network. 

The first step in the onboarding process is an audit. 

Along with giving your MSP a chance to get to know you and your IT needs, the audit allows an MSP to check your IT environment for existing problems and quote an accurate price for managed services.

As a managed IT service provider (MSP), here at The KR Group, we’ve answered many questions about the audit process. 

To better understand what the audit looks like, there are six things you should know:

  1. An MSP looks for your existing hardware, software, and users.
  2. The MSP can perform the audit on-site or remotely.
  3. Some MSPs include a security check during their audits.
  4. You can help your MSP by having documentation ready.
  5. The cost of an audit depends on your needs.
  6. An audit is important because it provides an overview of your needs.

By answering these questions, you’ll know what to expect during the audit process and be more prepared to onboard with an MSP.

If you’re looking for more information about what a managed IT services contract looks like, read our free guide to signing a contract.

1. An MSP looks for your existing hardware, software, and users.

The primary goal of an MSP audit is to learn about your IT environment.

 During the audit, your MSP engineer will look for and document three main things:

  • Your hardware
  • Your software
  • Your user count

Hardware

When it comes to your hardware, the audit gives them an idea if you comply with their standards. In order to enforce a level of security and efficiency, many MSPs require their clients to use an approved list of physical firewalls and back-up devices.

MSPs aim to provide IT assistance and protect your security while doing so. To prevent being at fault for a breach, they require you to meet their compliance for hardware (and software). 

Software

When your MSP is looking at your current software, they’re looking to see what (antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spam, and potentially a DNS filter) you are currently using.

By knowing what you use, your new MSP will know what type of software you need and be able to calculate the monthly fee for the antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spam software you’ll use through them.

User count

Conducting the audit also allows your MSP to count how many users your company has that will be using the software.

By counting your users, the MSP can accurately price how much managed IT services will cost your company.

2. Your MSP can perform the audit on-site or remotely.

Generally, your MSP will go on-site for audits. This allows them the chance to get to know you and your IT environment in person.

Depending on the size of your company, they could be there from a couple of hours to a full day.

managed IT services onboarding
Many components of managed IT services, including the audit, can be done on-site or remotely.

If you have multiple locations, depending on the size of those offices, they may need to visit those sites and add time to the audit process. (This can also affect the cost, which we talk about later.)

However, there are situations where MSPs perform audits remotely.

Your location, for example, could be a barrier to an on-site audit. If you’re in another state or hours away, it’s likely more cost-effective for your MSP to scope your IT environment remotely and contact you for further questions. 

3. Some MSPs include a security check during their audits.

Many MSPs, including us, find the audit to be a good time to check your security posture as well.

While they’re already looking around your IT environment, they can check to see how vulnerable you are to attacks.

While not as extensive as a comprehensive security analysis, this security risk assessment checks for active attacks and glaring misconfigurations or missing patches.

By performing a security check, MSPs can ensure they understand what security risks – if any – exist before they take over.

4. You can help your MSP by having documentation ready.

The best thing you can do to help your prospective MSP during the switching and onboard process is to have all of your previous MSP’s billing statements available. 

The MSP performing the audit will want to use these statements to see what services and hardware you’re currently paying for.

Anything that has a tie into IT – Internet service, phone service, Microsoft Office 365, security camera services, badging systems, etc. – will need to be noted so your MSP can give accurately assess what you’ll need from managed IT services.

Along those lines, MSPs also find a list of what hardware you own versus lease helpful when determining what you’ll need and what you already have.

5. The cost of an audit depends on your needs.

For an MSP’s engineer to come and perform all these checks on your IT environment, you can expect to pay at least $500.

This price can increase if your MSP needs to travel to multiple sites or if your environment is complex and requires more time to discover and document.

Generally, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 for an audit.

6. An audit is important because it provides an overview of your needs.

As we’ve already discussed, an audit is important to give your MSP an idea of what hardware and software you have or need. It also gives them a chance to collect a user count.

managed IT services assistance
At back, The KR Group managed IT services engineer Tyler Mayes works with a customer to provide support to IT problems.

Beyond that, an audit is important because it gives your MSP a better idea of what your IT environment looks like. By actively looking through your technology stack, your MSP will have an idea of the complexity of your environment.

They’ll have the answer to questions, such as:

  • How many physical and virtual servers do you have?
  • Do you have virtual desktop systems?
  • What is the complexity of your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?
  • How much data are you using?
  • Do you have multiple ways to access the Internet?
  • Do you have a fail-over circuit?

All of this information allows your MSP to accurately quote a price for services and best serve you.

7.   How do I schedule an audit?

Short answer: Call or email your prospective MSP

The easiest way to take the next steps and schedule an audit is to reach out to the MSP you’re looking to contract for their services.

We also recommend you read “How to Switch to a New Managed Service Provider (MSP)” and check out our free onboarding checklist to further prepare for partnering with a new MSP.

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