Software audit is usually carried out by large scale companies. When customers pay for software, it is their right to ask questions and get satisfactory response. There are basically two kinds of audits, known as:
Software Assessment Management or SAM
Legal Contracts & Compliance or LLC
SAM is a kind of audit that makes certain whether customers are in compliance or not. If the answer is negative, the company is expected to work with its customers to achieve the target. SAM is also known as “self-audit”, as customers are directed to fill forms to provide detail of software and evaluate it with other software they have purchased earlier.
Many companies are given licensing agreements or deals to fulfil their compliance mandate. Customers, who have used SAM audit process, state that it is supportive when they make fair attempts to becoming compliant. Your contribution in self audit is voluntary; however, if you choose not to participate, an alternate form of audit is offered.
LLC is activated when customers reject SAM. As compared to self-audit, LLC is not free and is taken seriously as someone has accused your business for software piracy. It is your right to consult with an attorney if LLC is issued to your company. Such type of audit is controlled by Business Software Alliance (BSA), which is an anti-piracy leading group that can be hired by software companies to carry out all-encompassing audits. It is something serious as penalties per title violation are more than $150,000.
What are Effective Practices?
If you realize that your company is getting out of compliance, it is good to start the audit process as early as possible. Software audit becomes more considerate when customers are serious about compliance issues.
Do not Presume Authenticity
There are many fraudulent sellers that get benefits from companies by selling pirated software. It is more critical that customers do not even know they are using pirated software till audit exposes the truth. It is necessary to select only certified resellers to avoid such situations.
Keep Record of Receipts
Always keep record that you have purchased laptops or other devices with specific software. During an audit, you need to give proof that your software is legally purchased, and covers retail and OEM licenses.
In some cases, you might not be able to get record of all of your software in use in the company. If so, you must perform inventory process to find out installed software. It helps in finding breaches in compliance.
Work with Sellers
It happens that companies do not keep all software in full compliance. Auditors understand this and they do not take it seriously and anticipate that your company starts working with sellers to become fully compliant.
Software audits are very important and help companies to become compliant and avoid legal suits. For instance, Microsoft assumes that if customers have Volume Licensing contracts or Enterprise Agreement, they are considered as complaint. Usually audits for small and medium sized companies are issued through Selection or Open licensing agreements.