What Happens During a Microsoft Audit?

It is no secret that most organizations dread software audits. Consequences for failed audits could mean hefty fees. Preparation can be time consuming and frustrating. The benefits of audits are seldom discussed and understanding these benefits, such as lowering costs by getting rid of unused licenses, can relieve some of the frustration that comes from audit preparation.

The fact stands that every company has a right to protect their intellectual property. Microsoft is listed as one of five companies most likely to perform an audit. A Microsoft audit will not only benefit Microsoft, but will benefit your company by maximizing your current license position.

As Microsoft tends to prevail in most audit conversations, it’s important to understand its audit process, along with the benefits. When Microsoft requests an audit, it is impossible to tell the reasons behind the request. In most cases, they will not take legal action against you and are just trying to verify that the company is “right licensed”.



Types of Audits

There are four types of requests that you may receive and they go as follows. You will get an email request to self-audit and reply to the email stating that you have performed a self-audit and believe you are in compliance or you will receive a letter or email requesting a self-audit including documents to fill out sent by the SAM manager, you will receive a letter. If compliance is still questioned, Microsoft might take more serious action.

You could receive an email or phone call requesting to do an audit on behalf of Microsoft, or you will receive a letter or email from Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs, which could indicate that your company is on the verge of getting sued.

Microsoft audits are a way to make sure that all the copies of the installed software in a company is licensed. In addition, they minimize the spread of viruses that can come from uncontrolled software copies. Though failing an audit might lead to fees, the audit itself can save a company from prosecution due to software theft. Overall, the Microsoft auditing process can be beneficial if the proper precautions are taken to prepare.

How to Escape from a Microsoft Audit

Royal Discount will never disclose private, personal or business information to Microsoft to initiate an audit. Our services are 100% confidential, and we can often negotiate a position for those who have already received a self-audit letter. Audits are initiated directly by Microsoft through their proprietary systems. These systems look for various red flags. These red flags are what initiate an audit. An example of a red flag event would be not investing in CALs with the purchase of SQL Server or Windows Server (if needed). For more information on audits, or audit prevention, contact our licensing desk for a free consultation.