COVID-19 has changed the way we work for the rest of our lives. The possibility of remote work is available for an extended period to the entire staff in many organizations was never considered before the virus spread globally.
Organizations are re-engineering their approach to work, requiring auditors and compliance teams to work remotely. Your audit leadership challenges may include the following:
Having to conduct audits or coach team members remotely can make you nervous. Keeping on track with audits and building rapport with your clients in a distributed work environment can take time and effort. This blog will share a few simple tips to help you, your team, and your clients succeed. Also, we will recommend you a top-rated tool to make your remote audits efficient and effective.
Both auditing and technology are evolving. Today, remote auditing techniques can replace on-site auditing.
Unlike an on-site audit, a remote audit uses electronic methods to obtain audit evidence, such as video conferencing, email, and telephone, as though it were being conducted on-site.
To determine whether the audit criteria have been met, it is necessary to evaluate this evidence objectively.
You can share files and screens using remote auditing, hold video conferences, and analyze data live.
Auditor skills and techniques used during on-site audits, such as assertiveness, diplomacy, listening, and respect, can also be used during this type of audit.
Remote audits maximize two essential skills that are maximized during a remote audit – being versatile and collaborative – by auditing key and relevant questions related to the scope of the audit.
It is beneficial for auditors to receive and exchange data, review documents and processes, conduct interviews and make observations with auditees worldwide without traveling.
As a result of eliminating commute time, auditors can spend more time exploring audit trails and writing audit reports that clearly outline audit outcomes, including opportunities for improvement, and more time doing things that contribute to the company’s success.
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Using technology to conduct audits remotely also saves money and time. Through a cloud portal, users can access their data from anywhere. Providing a set time for remote audit activities will also likely increase engagement with auditees. With fewer interruptions and sidetracks, they are less prone to be sidetracked by urgent work requests like answering emails, taking phone calls, and assisting colleagues with queries.
In the certification industry, ‘audit burnout’ is a common term, particularly for auditors who frequently perform one-day audits and travel to various sites. Using remote auditing may allow auditors and auditees to take a different approach and approach the audit process differently, adding value to both.
Here are five best practices to make the virtual audit process smoother.
In advance of the audit, it’s a good idea to review internal controls and ensure they are still accurate or offer the required level of checks and balances, management, and oversight. The use of electronic signatures and approvals, as well as remote working, makes this extremely important. In addition, make any necessary updates to the accounting policies and procedures manual.
Virtual audits save organizations valuable time and resources by eliminating the need to host audit teams for days.
It is best to provide the trial balance, general ledger, and several other items to your auditors at least a week before the audit. As a result, the audit team can create sample requests and submit them to the client before the audit work begins, giving the client time to pull and scan the samples before the audit starts. The audit will become much more efficient this way.
If your auditors are onsite, those days should be dedicated to the audit just like they would be if they were conducting the audit themselves. An out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach to remote audits is easy to adopt in the early stages. However, the audit will take longer if documents are not provided promptly, unlike an in-person audit.
You and your auditor should still interact even though the audit is being done remotely. Ideally, the auditor and your organization should have one team call to introduce themselves and discuss the audit approach, your current financial and programmatic situation, and the timing of the draft financial statements. Your auditor also needs to send your team a daily status update email at the end of the day.
Remote audits use a lot of electronic information, but sometimes translation could be more precise. If this happens, it is recommended to pick up the phone or set up a team’s call so we can share screens and communicate directly. There is almost always no need for multiple emails or instant messages because a telephone call or teams meeting will solve the issue or confusion in a fraction of the time.
Using best practices, you and your audit team can benefit from a remote audit. First, you are less likely to be disrupted by the changes. You won’t have to host your audit team onsite for days as an organization by moving to a virtual audit.
Moreover, because the audit team works from home, they can access all the tools they have at their disposal: multiple monitors, high-speed internet, scanners, etc. These tools can improve the efficiency of the financial reporting process, which results in a shorter turnaround time for your organization. Your organization will also save money by eliminating travel time.
Therefore, utilize remote audits as an opportunity to improve and grow.
Here are seven requirements for an effective remote audit. In addition, remote auditing requires assistance in the following areas:
Plan and scope remote audits just as you would for a physical audit. However, each element of the auditing process should be considered in greater detail to account for technical glitches. Clarifying the audit scope and expected outcomes requires a legal agreement. Screen shares, live streams, and other media transmitted remotely should be explicitly prohibited to ensure data privacy.
However, the success of your remote audits largely depends on the tools you are using. The right audit management tool can help your achieve success and excellence effortlessly by streamlining the audit workflows and driving a culture of continuous improvements.
Therefore, you must implement industry-proven best practices, right tools and technologies, and right people to make every remote audit a successful one.
From planning an audit to implementing improvements, a cloud-based Audit Management Software assists businesses through the entire audit process. The highly integrated nature of the system makes it conducive to remote auditing, as it provides a complete picture of quality and safety-related data without compromising security requirements. It is easy for auditors to assess risk levels, identify root causes, and suggest corrective actions based on historical and real-time data and a risk-based approach enabled by the tool.
Additionally, the cloud-based audit management tool provides greater flexibility, traceability, and security organizations need for remote audits. You can leverage the unique functionalities, from configurable workflows to intuitive platform, to manage end-to-end audit cycles efficiently and effectively.
As long as the organization is committed to conducting the virtual tour honestly and openly, Qualityze EQMS Suite will help businesses meet their quality and safety commitments.
Check out the link below for more information about the smarter quality solution and how it can help you audit more effectively, in person or remotely. You can also contact our customer success team email@example.com, or you can call us on 1-877-207-8616, and we will get back to you at the earliest.