Mindset: "The audit is easy, it is getting ready for the audit that is difficult." Take this mindset, be prepared before the auditors arrive and your audit will go more smoothly.
Anticipate: Some items you know are looked at every year. Property additions, prepaid items, bank reconciliations, accounts receivable allowance estimates, etc. Track these items during the year and have them available at year-end.
New items: Go over changes in the business, accounting policy changes and significant events with your auditors prior to the main fieldwork or during audit planning. This will move some of the key work and questions away from "crunch time" and up to planning.
Ahead: Stay one-step ahead and be organized. Have your staff know where things are and how to efficiently pull them. Ask your auditors to give you requests of items to be pulled in bunches, as opposed to one at a time. Staying organized will build efficiencies you can utilize not only during the audit, but year round as well.
Grid: Put together a grid, list, chart or whatever works for you of the account reconciliations that need to be done. Doing them all is difficult. Doing any one item is simple. Plan what needs to be done, follow the plan, mark what...