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How to Make Your Audit Process Compliance-Ready?

01 Aug 2023

Audit process is important to keep a check on organization processes, ensuring that they meet internal as well as compliance requirements. It basically helps organizations to identify the improvement opportunities that are essential for business growth.  

It is important to keep your audit processes, findings, and action plans documented to demonstrate compliance with industry proven best practices especially during audits and regulatory inspections. And it gets tedious and time-consuming when done manually. It would be best to have a next-generation Audit Management Software Solution in place to streamline end-to-end audit processes.   

A software can make your audit process compliance ready by allowing you to: 

Gather the necessary documents  

Organizations should define how they comply with the standard of these documents. Also, they must accurately reflect what employees do. Doing what you write and writing what you do are two complementary principles. The software allows you to keep all the audit-related processes documented in a consistent and organized manner. 

Review your internal processes first 

 It is essential to perform a self-assessment before the external audit to identify opportunities for improvement. For example, information systems need to be reviewed for cybersecurity to ensure that they do not violate any IT standards. The software allows you to perform internal audits at regular intervals. You can easily find a software that allows you to schedule your internal audits well-in advance. Moreover, it will send your alerts before the audits are due. 

Have an audit trail in place 

An audit trail is a record, whether it be paper or electronic, that shows compliance with a policy. Those companies that don’t manage audit trails well might have difficulties with auditors. Management of audit trails involves security policies and processes. The next-generation software automatically stores all the details regarding the audit records, owners, activities performed, date, and much more so you can quickly trace back the incidents that triggered changes. 

Related Article – Audit Trails : Uncover the Improvement Opportunities

Make training a priority 

It is important to teach staff and employees the policies and procedures they must follow. In addition, people can identify the risks if they receive adequate training about the specific process.  ‍Make sure you invest in a software that can seamlessly integrate with your existing business applications including your training management system. Keeping your staff trained will help drive a culture of quality and excellence. 

Stay on top of things. 

Use the opportunity to review your systems and improve if you learn your competitor has been fined for a particular incident. Also, you need to stay up to date on your organization’s standards and regulations. With the use of software, the reviews and approvals of controlled documents gets faster, easier, and secure. 

Different Types of Audits You Can Manage Using Software 

Your organization may conduct various types of internal audits using the software. Choosing one will largely depend on the objectives and goals you have in mind.  

Operational audit. Analyzing an organization’s efficiency and effectiveness is the aim of this audit. Those policies and achievements that relate to organizational objectives will serve as the primary sources of evidence. An operational audit can evaluate controls, processes, procedures, data accuracy, management and security of assets, and staffing.  

Compliance audit. The audit evaluates an organization’s compliance with applicable laws, standards, regulations, policies, or procedures. The compliance audit is usually conducted to ensure compliance with a law or policy. A compliance audit aims to ensure that critical internal processes are adequately controlled.  

Financial audit. Audits are independent evaluations of data reliability, fairness, and accuracy over time, usually a calendar quarter or fiscal year. During a financial audit, the objective is to ensure that the appropriate financial reports accurately reflect the financial activity, unit, or area. 

Follow-up audit. Internal or external audits typically include these audits approximately six months after the audit reports have been issued to determine whether corrective action has been taken on the audit issues previously reported. Follow-up audits evaluate the follow-up action plans based on the past audit recommendations to determine whether corrective actions were implemented and if they are working; or if the situation has changed enough to warrant a change in action.  

Investigative audit. This audit is only conducted when unusual or suspicious activity is reported. This report describes specific aspects of a department’s or individual’s work. During an investigative audit, auditors identify losses, assess control weaknesses, and formulate recommendations for corrective actions.  

Information technology (IT) audit. An IT audit evaluates the controls surrounding your organization’s automated information systems. Information technology audits recommend improvements in internal controls and security inherent in your organization’s information systems, along with an appropriate risk management strategy. IT audits are intended to ensure that assets are safeguarded, that data integrity is maintained, and that IT systems are operating efficiently to achieve business goals.  

Management audit. Performance audits are an independent and objective review of the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes. A business process, organization, or strategy can be reviewed by internal auditors (ideally) without fear of management backlash since internal auditing is an independent activity. A management audit evaluates the structure of your organization, such as how administrative work is divided up and whether you can improve efficiency.  

Integrated audit. An audit that combines two types of audit is a financial audit combined with a financial control audit. 

Benefits of Making Your Audit Process Compliance Ready 

When you align your audit processes with compliance requirements, you can leverage multiple benefits.   

  • You can identify gaps. Compliance with the compliance requirements is one of the objectives of the audit. The auditors will report any noncompliance to the organization’s management or the relevant government agency. 
  • You can focus on improvement opportunities. By identifying gaps, an organization can take preventive and corrective measures to resolve them. ‍ 
  • You can significantly reduce risks. Making your audit process compliance-friendly will help you reduce significant risks. Instead, it will help your organization to take a proactive approach towards risks.  ‍ 
  • You can avoid penalties or legal issues. Noncompliance with this law could lead to serious trouble for a company. 

Make Your Audits More Efficient with Qualityze eQMS Suite. 

Whether big or small, businesses must comply with rules and regulations about relevant compliance frameworks and benefit from compliance’s enhanced security posture.  

Compliance activities, however, are typically handled by a small team; therefore, it may be complicated for newcomers and inexperienced companies to prepare for and pass compliance audits. 

Qualityze Inc. provides smarter quality solutions to help enterprises streamline audit processes, manage risks, and maintain compliance with applicable regulatory standards. Contact us to learn more about our Qualityze eQMS solution and how we can help you in your compliance audit journey or request a free trial and get started today. 

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