Most people fear the word audit- because most of them don’t work in auditing. When we hear that audits are going on in our company, we know that the auditors will be checking everything to make sure things are being done right. We are afraid that they may find a mistake we made and then we will get in trouble because of it. While auditing may seem like a scary process to go through, it is an essential process. Audits allow management to discover key areas of concern and highlight any vulnerabilities the business may have. Yes, they catch our mistakes and highlight them, but that is just because that helps the business perform better in the future. Audit management can be made efficient by using a good audit management software.
The goal of audits
Many businesses carry out audits when there is an unexplained problem they need to understand. Many other businesses perform audits because they are required to do so legally. Businesses operating in the healthcare industry and the financial industry, like all other heavily regulated industries, must hold periodic audits and share their findings with regulatory bodies to ensure that everything is being handled the right way. The goal of internal audits is to ensure that if there are any problems they are detected by the organization and handles before a regulatory body detects them, because if a regulatory body detects issues it will penalize the business through monetary fines and may even put some operational restrictions on them.
Audits also help management understand what they are doing the wrong way. Often the business seems to have the right strategy but cannot get the results that it needs. This means that there is a problem in the business process somewhere along the way. In large organizations the process may include hundreds of people from different departments, so it is not always easy to determine where the problem occurred. Thus, audits are performed which are in-depth investigations into the records and data to determine what went wrong.
It is important to note that punishing the party that made the mistake is never the aim of these incidents, unless the incident was intentional such as fraud or other criminal activities. The biggest reason audits happen is that they tell the organization where they are vulnerable. Organizations don’t just want to detect issues; they also want to know why the issue was allowed to occur. This happens even if there is a criminal activity. If someone steals data, property, or money from a business, the business doesn’t just want to know who did it – they also want to know how it was done. Knowing how it was done is important because it allows the business to eliminate the vulnerabilities which allowed the incident to occur in the first place.
The outcome of audits
Audit management isn’t simply about performing audits – it is also important to take corrective actions. Auditors don’t just tell the business what is wrong – they also propose ideas which will help eliminate the failures in the future. This is the desired outcome for audits – corrective actions which make the company safer and stronger. This is also why audit management is important – simply performing the audit isn’t enough. Management also has to ensure that the corrective actions recommended by the auditors are actually being taken.
There will often be audits a few months after the first audit, the second audit will simply focus on the findings of the first audit and look at whether the problem has been solved. If not, then the auditors will recommend further corrective actions.
Auditing can be exciting work, but it involves going though a lot of documentation. That is why businesses have started to focus on audit streamlining and automation. Automation carries many benefits for audits. It allows auditors to work faster and in a more streamlined fashion. It also makes it easier for the whole organization to collaborate for the audit and deliver better results.