An external audit is coming, but you are not prepared. Do you recognize this situation? If you’re keen on improving the way you handle both internal and external audits – this post is for you!
If you plan thoroughly and have all employees with you, you are well prepared for audits. But that is not always an easy task if you are currently working with a manual filing system, and you need to provide all documentation manually to the auditor. It can be challenging to be adequately prepared, but most of all – it is very time-consuming.
Even if you’ve gone through an internal audit before, it might be a good idea to remind the employees of the procedure – in good time. Let them know what you expect of them. They need to know the existing guidelines, and what happens if you fail to follow them successfully. Also, inform them that an audit is nothing to fear. If there are issues, they will get handled.
Mistakes happen, and not everything needs to be perfect.
The best way to be prepared for both internal and external audits is by using an automated cloud-based compliance solution with an audit management system. In that way, you can organize the entire process of the internal audit throughout the year, so you won’t get stressed out when there’s an upcoming audit.
Five ways an audit management system can help
Checklists are an inescapable part of the compliance manager’s work – you probably have a few that you work with during audits. One benefit of many compliance management systems is that you’ll find ready-made checklist templates, which saves a lot of time and helps standardize audits and inspection.
It makes the audit process so much easier and more accurate to have an overview of upcoming audits, the number of nonconformities, and other related tasks. A well-functioning digital system should give the compliance manager and other managers a complete overview of what needs to be done.
It doesn't matter if you have one or twenty external audits per year, it is always a lot of work to keep track of the whole audit process and nonconformities, not to mention if you are using a manual filing system. A huge benefit of many audit systems is that you can get automated reminders. You will not be able to get a notification of an unexpected inspection – but you will not forget any tasks connected to a planned audit.
Delegating responsibility can end up being a time-consuming task, but with an automated system, it is simple. It’s easy to automatically assign documents, responsibilities, and tasks to employees. You also get an electronic confirmation when everyone has finished their tasks.
Another maybe even more substantial benefit of some automated systems is that you can offer the external auditor a temporary login. The auditor will then be able to see all documentation, internal audits, and the status of nonconformities.