In this blog post, we aim to answer some burning questions many of you may have regarding licensing audit. Should you have follow-up questions, suggestions, or require more opinions, please shoot us an email.

1. What is a Licensing Audit?

Whenever you install an application on your computer, let’s say something from Microsoft, the all-important End User License Agreement (EULA) stated the terms of how you use the software. Upon ticking that “Agree” box, you give Microsoft the right to dictate how you use their software and grant them permission to audit the application’s use.

The licensing check can be in the form of a self-declaration, an on-site audit, or it could be an automated script query whose results are sent back to the license auditor. The process usually ends if you perform a self-assessment and agree to pay for the licenses to become compliant.

Note: If you ignore or refuse to comply with the self-assessment, the issue may be forwarded to the Business Software Association (BSA) and a formal audit may be launched against you.

2. How long have we got before Microsoft Audits me?

Thus far, Microsoft grants a yearly audit with 30 days’ notice according to the terms of your volume licensing (VL) agreement. This is how much time you can expect to receive in order to settle any non-compliant software licenses you’ve got. Good practice dictates that you must keep good records of your software, which makes 30 days more than enough time to respond to the audit request.

Note: You may request an extension if you need more time.

3. How often can we expect to be audited?

Your Volume License Agreement grants Microsoft the right to perform audits as often as yearly, with 30 days’ prior notice. Their policy states that Select, ISV, SPLA, Enterprise Agreement, and Open customers can expect an License Compliance Analysis at least once every three years.

It takes almost no money for Microsoft to enforce or request, so passing under Microsoft’s audit radar is unlikely.

So there’s a few basic, but extremely important questions answered. Regarding the second question, our suite of SAM tools can help organize and optimize your licenses, so contact us for a consultation in order to meet those pesky audit requests painlessly. Thanks for reading!