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Microsoft Audit Defense

Audit risks

From experience, we know that an audit is never pleasant and always comes at the worst of times. 

  • An audit is not planned for.

  • It requires extra effort and resources.

  • Audit penalties are not in your budget.

  • There is a risk of reputational and further financial damage.

  • There is also a risk of legal action.

In addition, you must account for the following:

  • Your software in third-party data centres and the cloud.

  • Old applications that aren't covered by modern M365 subscriptions.

  • Consequences of Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures.

  • Constantly changing Microsoft licensing rules.

  • Complexities of having multiple licensing agreements.

  • Auditors make worst-case assumptions.

How we can support you

Our team of Licensing and Negotiation experts will assist you in:

  • Identifying and avoiding unnecessary costs well before negotiations,

  • Streamlining your team's efforts for greater focus and efficiency,

  • Determining and gathering the minimum data required for the auditor,

  • Gathering evidence to strengthen your defence,

  • Analysing your business practices and data to build a strong defence case,

  • Reviewing the auditor's report for errors and unrealistic assumptions.

After the technical phase of the audit, our negotiation experts will use best-practice negotiation tactics to reduce the audit bill and put you in control of the outcome.

Our leadership will collaborate closely with your executive team at every negotiation step until success.

Peace of mind

The most frequent feedback from our customers is that having SAMexpert on board gives them "peace of mind" because they acquire a clear understanding of the operational and business aspects of both the auditor and Microsoft, their drivers, motivations, and behind-the-scene processes.

We will defend you in all kinds of audits

Microsoft SAM


"Big-four" audit firm

Conducted by Microsoft partners as "services", these assessments aren't governed by the audit provisions in your agreement.

Microsoft may ask you to self-certify and provide the necessary forms and instructions.

The "official" audit. Its terms and conditions are in your licensing agreements with Microsoft.

How we work

Our ultimate goal is to help you minimise the penalties and consequential damage.

We ensure that you are always well-prepared and in a position of strength by using a proven methodology shaped by experience. We have a deep understanding of how auditors work and think, which allows us to anticipate their actions and stay ahead of the game.

It is ideal to call us as soon as you receive an audit notice from Microsoft, but regardless of when we join your team – at which stage of the audit, there are always opportunities to defend your position.

Our audit defence process is designed to be flexible and tailored to your specific situation, depending on where you are in the audit process when you engage with us.

{Defend your position in every step of the audit


Understanding the audit landscape

  • Scope and territory
  • Where you are in the process
  • Infrastructure diagram
  • Business history
  • Licensing practices
  • Your cloud consumption
  • Your outsourcers
  • Your licensing agreements

Initial analysis

Identifying possible issues

  • Gathering inventory
  • Gathering licensing data
  • Analysing licensing data
  • Gap and risk analysis
  • Contractual compliance
  • Process analysis
  • Identifying the issues
  • Mitigating honest mistakes
  • Preparing the right data

Data provision

Controlling the data flow

  • Ensuring only the right data is provided to the auditor
  • Avoiding over-submission
  • Providing additional evidence for mitigation
  • Responding to auditor queries
  • Preparing for on-site auditor visits
  • Shadowing auditor communications

Report analysis

Technical defense

  • Responding to assumptions
  • Ensuring there are no calculation mistakes
  • Providing additional data and evidence
  • Shadowing auditor communications

Negotiation planning

  • Finalising your defense case
  • Business objectives
  • Map relationship with Microsoft
  • Comercial leverage
  • Plan of action
  • Team preparation

Negotiation execution

  • Multi-cycle negotiation alignment
  • Proposal analysis and feedback
  • Tactical war room of experts at your disposal
  • Closing strategy


We deliberately don't partner with Microsoft or sell licenses. It ensures that our advice is impartial and there is no hidden agenda.


We employ our thorough understanding of agreements, licensing, and cloud economics to help you achieve the best possible results.


SAMexpert is trusted worldwide, advising Fortune 500 companies, businesses and government organisations.

Why work with us

In over 15 years, SAMexpert audit defence consultants helped avoid and mitigate over $500 million of Microsoft audit penalties, not including service provider audits.

We have worked with small to large enterprises around the globe and in all sectors mitigating and negotiating Microsoft software audits from tens of millions to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We have distilled this experience into a battle-proven process that is continuously updated to meet the latest trends in Microsoft audit defence. 

{Over $500 million mitigated

Every day counts — contact us now