Internal audits are a key requirement of any Quality Management System. As you are aware, the internal audit is designed to measure the effectiveness of the system. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two basic components that are critical to audit success.
First, understand the motivation. Many look at internal audits as a necessary evil—a time consuming effort that drains people and resources away from daily operations. This thinking makes it difficult for the internal audit to be successful--unless your definition of success is that it's done and out of the way. We need to communicate the importance of the internal audit function to the rest of the organization. In addition, staff members should understand the benefits a successful internal audit program provides to the effectiveness of the organization.
Second, define the objective of the audit before beginning. In other words, plan the audit and execute to that plan. Determine specific processes that you are measuring and the acceptance criteria for determining success or failure. We can't make suggestions for improvement, if we don’t understand the status of the current process. When successfully executed, your internal audit is much more likely to result in streamlined operations and positive impacts to the bottom line.
Finally, keep in mind that an internal audit is a means to an end. It's like practice for a sports team. Practice isn't always the favorite part of any team’s schedule. However when the players become committed to practice as a way to evaluate and work on gaps, the end result is improved play during the next game. The same is true with an internal audit.
To learn more about how Accupoint can help your organization maximize the internal audit process, visit us on the web at www.accupointsoftware.com or call toll-free 800.563.6250.