What is a Microsoft Audit?

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6 jun, 2023

A software audit is a way to make sure you’re following the rules and guidelines established in your agreement with Microsoft, such as the Enterprise Agreement or a volume licensing program. Audits are used as a standard Microsoft operating process to enforce their intellectual property rights and validate compliance when necessary.

How does an audit work?

It starts with an email or letter your company receives. This is followed by a request for an appointment with Microsoft and the auditor. After that, the auditor is responsible for the process. The auditor will map the licenses and report this to Microsoft. Microsoft then contacts you again and proceeds to close the audit.

What are the costs of a Microsoft audit?

For unlicensed use of five percent or more of the purchased license value, a customer must pay the retail price for all unlicensed products plus the cost of the audit. If your organization purchases device CALs and fails to license personal devices that access company assets, the penalty is two to four times the price of the CAL for each violation. There can be multiple violations on each device. Multiply that by the number of potential users and devices and it’s easy to see why you should pay attention!

What are the risks?

Your company is only at risk if license management is not in order. If this is not the case and your company has not properly arranged license management, these are possible risks

  1. Non-budgeted licenses you have to buy if you don’t meet the requirements,
  2. audit fines,
  3. Auditor fees if you are non-compliant by a certain percentage,
  4. Time investment to perform the audit, negotiate and recover,
  5. Possible disruption to your regular business operations,
  6. A damaged relationship with Microsoft – this works both ways,
  7. negative PR,
  8. Legal action

Which things should always be available?

Whether your company actually gets an audit or not, the following information should be available at all times when using pre-owned software licenses.

  1. Real-time data from all end-user devices (desktops, laptops, tablets and phones) and servers.
  2. Infrastructure and environment types across all data centers, including outsourced and hosted.

Make sure that your company is prepared for any audit at all times. Do you have questions about a Microsoft audit? For more information, please contact Vidasoft’s licensing specialists.