Look at this SPLA ELP mock-up. You will notice that there are calendar months on this spreadsheet.
In a regular audit, you get only one – current – licensing position.
But SPLA is a "pay as you consume contract"; you have to report consumption monthly to Microsoft.
If you have a five-year-long audit scope, the auditor will present you with 60 monthly licensing positions.
In a "normal" audit, you may try and negotiate your past mistakes away. You may say, "We are decommissioning this". And you may be excused.
It's not going to work in SPLA. You have to be squeaky clean. If the auditor finds a past error in your data, it will add to your previous months' shortfalls.
When you don't have robust data for a specific month, the auditor will extrapolate it from the data you managed to collect. So it's imperative to have as much reliable data as you can.
Do you want to get prepared for an SPLA audit? Then start preparing today. Collect monthly or even daily snapshots of your data. Save everything. All the basis for your calculations, all the reports, whatever you submitted, all the audit trail.
And for how long? Well, there's no limit on how long the audit period may be. So, find and organise all the evidence since you onboarded your first SPLA customer.
SPLA audit defence is our speciality at SAMexpert. Our consultants helped avoid over $500 million of perceived fees by guiding our customers and their auditors to correct interpretation of the data.
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