Give your business a health check Pt. 4
15 September 2022 - Internal audits are a great tool to give your management system and business a health check. Management system software can help you audit smarter.
Using software to audit smarter
Just like many business activities, technology can now help us to work smarter in many aspects of the internal audit process.
Traditionally, audits would be scheduled on a list, with audit reports either hand-written and saved in filing cabinets, or word-processed and saved in an audits folder on a computer. Moving on from that, some organizations started to create schedules in Microsoft Excel or similar. Hard-copy reports may be scanned as PDF files, and then the spreadsheet is updated to indicate completion.
Technology now offers much greater opportunities to improve the audit process whilst also saving the valuable time of those involved. Management system software applications can eliminate duplication of effort and automate parts of the process. For example,
- Auditors and contacts can be automatically notified and reminded by email when an audit is scheduled that involves them
- Your business rules for conducting the audit can be instantly available in an associated procedure
- Template checklists can be used to save time and ensure consistency
- The Checklist and Results can be entered on-screen
- Relevant evidence can be attached to the audit report e.g. PDF files, images etc.
- Any required actions identified at the audit can be automatically emailed to the responsible person – and then tracked
- The schedule can be automatically updated when the audit is completed
- The audit profile and checklist can be replicated for use again at a future date
- Cloud options can make the resources available almost anywhere, and help to integrate systems across various sites
A picture is worth a thousand words
The old saying 'a picture is worth a thousand words' still holds true today. With our faster pace of life, that's probably even more so now than ever. With the availability of digital cameras and photographic capabilities built into smartphones and tablets, audit reports can easily be supplemented with relevant images to illustrate an observation.
For all but the very smallest of organizations, it’s certainly worth considering the process improvement and time-saving benefits that software and other IT resources can offer.
This blog post is part 4 in a series about internal audits - a crucial component of any management system.
Go to our blog index to see the other posts in this series.
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