Software audits: What are they? (Part 1)

Software audits are becoming more and more common but many small businesses don’t think that they will be audited. So are you prepared if your business is audited? This two part series will explain what audits are, and how to be prepared for one when it happens.

What is an audit?

An audit is when a software company comes into your business and ensures that every copy of installed software is licensed. They match up what you appear to own and what you have purchased. They run a tool that tells them everything that is running on the network and make sure that everything has the proper documentation, licensing, etc.

What companies perform audits?

All software companies can perform audits. The most common companies to perform audits, according to Cherwell Software are:

  • Microsoft
  • Adobe
  • Autodesk
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • IBM
  • McAfee
  • Attachmate
  • VMWare
  • Symantec


Who is at risk for an audit?

EVERYONE. If you are using a software product on your network, you can be audited. Just because you have good relationships with your vendors or you’ve made a good effort to be compliant, doesn’t exempt you from being audited. Organizations with 5,000 or more employees report being audited at a higher rate than those with fewer than 5,000 employees. However, organizations with between 500 and 4,999 employees and more than 25,000 employees are becoming more and more targeted.

Now that you are familiar with software audits, stay tuned for next week where we will discuss how to be prepared when, not if, you get audited.