An interesting article in a recent edition of PC World outlined the true costs of a software vendor audit. In this particular case Oracle was taking on Mars, the confectionery company, and focusing on their use of VMware virtualization software.
Documentation, documentation, documentation
Two salient facts were clearly highlighted by this. The first is the frightening amount of documentation that Mars produced in an attempt to give Oracle the information it wanted for the audit. In this case it was over 230,000 pages!
To produce this level of documentation must have cost Mars many man-hours, hours that would have been better spent on business-improving activities. This, despite the fact that the costs of the audit are supposed to be borne by Oracle themselves. It is no wonder that in the end Mars took Oracle to court to try and get them to scale back their audit activities and minimize disruption to their business.