Thanks to the awesome community and software over at spiceworks - www.spiceworks.com I found these great free tools from Netwrix - www.netwrix.com that are superb for any system admin dealing with windows systems. I could have used this fileserver monitor freeware in the past for basic audits. I wish I had known about it sooner. The other really useful tools we are using are the following freeware tools. Essentially the free versions just email you at 3am every night with changes or reports. You can change the schedule using the scheduled task control panel:
Password Expiration Notifier - http://www.netwrix.com/password_expiration_notifier_freeware.html
This tool emails the end users when their passwords are expiring, its good for us because we have some remote users and mac users who do not get notified. This should prevent the lockouts we see when passwords expire.
AD Change Reporter - http://www.netwrix.com/active_directory_change_reporting_freeware.html
This product will show you changes in Active Directory, Exchange, and Group Policy. This is something I have been wanting to have for a while, but it was always too expensive. Now you can have it for free!
I emailed the company a few days ago to get pricing on the commercial products, but