I work very closely with the external audit staff. I beleive this has helped keep our costs down. I coordinate the entire exam, work with bank staff to have them get all of their information to me. The external audit team usually comes to me when they are here for requests and I either point them in the right direction, or get the information from them. They comment each year how efficiently it runs to have one contact person they can go to. Now, since the same firm has been with us a few years now they do often just go talk to the individuals that they need to, but they still usually sit right outside my desk so that I'm available to help if needed. We've also been able to cut down their time in our bank from 2 weeks to 1 week (saves expenses) solely because they are automated. We upload all the documents through a secure site, etc. If your firm doesn't do that, you might want to research one that does. I think in the long run it's best for everyone! Hope that helps!