Checks and balances are very important in running an organization. No one single entity, individual, or group should lord over the majority of the group. That is why auditing exists to remind each and every one that there is a bigger responsibility to one another rather than just being selfish. In this respect auditing is extremely important.
Auditing also assures that every output is at par if not exceeding expectations. This task is so important it must be accomplished with utmost diligence and confidentiality. The results of audits will dictate the next steps forward of a company. Here are some tips on how to conduct high quality auditing.
- Hold it before you audit. Before you start auditing make sure you have the following: company manuals and corporate policies and procedures. This will be your main guide in judging work as well as the system. Also keep handy a good dose of objectiveness.
- Know the rules to know how they break it. Read, read, read and then absorb the manual regarding the process to be reviewed. This is the best way for you to check and evaluate. To know the rule of law you have to be the law.
- Plan and conquer. So as not to lose track of your audit, make a concrete plan. It includes all the important details like time lines, location of audit and the guide to the process being audited. Always be sure that the parties being audited approve your plan. This plan will help you maintain objectivity and keep you on tract at all times.
- Lay of the land or of the audit. Know the boundaries and identify it to all parties involved. Introducing an overall scope into the plan will put everyone in the right perspective. This will also help you check if your objectives are aligned to the audit plan. The quality requirements should be placed in a checklist for faster and more efficient evaluation.
- Who are the people in your neighborhood? This is not a game of spy versus spy. So it is important that you introduce the key staff in this audit. Each has a role to play and helping one another is a big part of it. Engage in pleasantries for a more effective audit.
- What, when, where and why? Never keep both auditors and auditees in the dark. Give the senior management with a comprehensive schedule of meetings. Transparency helps in getting the true pulse in the audit.
- Let the audit begin! Start things right. Have a general assembly where the auditors and the auditees are present. Here lay down the plan, the scope, the goal and the timing. This is a clear signal that you mean business. Be sure to come off as very objective.
- Let’s talk it out. To get the utmost cooperation do not come off as bossy. But do not come off as a push over. When conducting interviews talk in the right manner to get the desired response. Then study the group records. Map out the information you have gathered. Be objective in qualifying discrepancies as well as good points. Always think of the good of the company. Investigate irregularities.
- The results. The company deserves to know if there are irregularities. Conclusions and results should be divulged to the management.
Remember objectivity is the greatest weapon of an auditor. In the end, everybody will benefit from the results and reactions to the audit.