Many service supply organizations are using internal audits as a method to improve operations and impact their bottom line. In addition to being required by API Spec Q2, an effective audit program will highlight potential problems areas, identify failure points, and determine the effectiveness of controls.
Internal auditing provides the mechanism that organizations use to examine business processes and evaluate compliance with both internal and external requirements. Successful auditing incorporates best practices and other tools to provide maximum impact. To that end, we have outlined five useful tips to help advance your next internal quality audit.
1. Strong Attention to Detail
It is important for internal auditors to note and document evidence throughout the auditing process. These notes are used later to analyze events and reconstruct specific situations. This does not mean that auditors should focus on tiny, unimportant details through nit-picking, but rather components that are a part of a bigger issue that can be addressed.
2. Friendly Attitude
Stress levels are already high when employees are dealing with an audit. If an internal auditor is aggressive, hostile, or difficult to deal with, employers often minimally engage and will not share as much. If an internal auditor presents with a friendly attitude and is open, they will be more likely to get feedback. The last thing an auditor wants to do is put an employee on the defensive or make them feel ill at ease.
3. Reporting Supported by ChecklistsInternal auditors use checklists to balance reporting and should ensure that they are clean and support numerical values and ratings. These checklists enable companies to report on growth as well as challenges that exist across various departments. These reports are essential and allow businesses to assess whether their improvement efforts are working, and what training is needed to reach their goals.
4. Generation of Auditing TeamsInternal auditing teams can be very successful, especially with all the documentation that goes into completing an audit the right way. While a single auditor would be responsible for actively listening while documenting their findings, a team can allocate responsibilities to various areas such as recording, listening, and documenting. This way, all team members can collaborate to ensure no information is overlooked.
5. Looking at the Whole Picture
When an internal audit is taking place, the auditor or team should be able to look at the picture as a whole, incorporating current situations as well as past audit results. Focus should take place on past issues to determine whether they have been corrected and closed before reassessments take place in the same area. This is a delicate balance that will prove most effective and time efficient.
In addition, there are numerous best practices that should be examined in relation to internal audit activities. An internal audit is usually successful when the auditor is able to implement the following activities.
For more information on how we can help manage your internal audit process, please call us at 800.563.6250 or visit us at www.accupointsoftware.com.