If your organization or company will have your first external audit this year, there are chances that you are probably anxious or problematic about it. When the word “auditing” is heard, some people become anxious about it, while others get panicked. We do not question these feelings. Who would not panic in time like these? The International Cooling Tower, for instance, do have mechanical system evaluations, material testing, and performance testing. So, if you do not prepare, chances are, your organization will really fall into hysteria.
Of course, there is no need to panic or be stressed about auditing if you have done enough preparations. Every external audit can be different from one another, depending on the scope and the standards against which you will be audited. But fret not, here, we give you the essential steps to achieve a favorable outcome after the auditing.
1. Identify and comprehend the standard
An audit is a report of an organization that contains compliance with the standards provided by an external auditing team. So, you need to have time to research and understand the standards set by the external auditing company and compare it with what you have in the organization. In that way, you will identify which parts and aspects you need to improve and develop. You will also be able to anticipate what documents and things they will be looking for when the inspection happens.
2. Choose your SMEs and identify the internal procedures
Your SME or Subject Matter Experts know better about your internal processes compared to other employees. Prepare and inform them about the auditing and provide them information about what the auditing team will be requiring and expecting to see. Also, let them identify some gaps between the auditing team’s standards and your organization’s. Make sure that all the requirements of the auditing team are have been complied by your organization.
3. Document all the procedures and provide an inventory
When you have all the internal procedures ready, you are already good to go. However, there is a tendency that the auditing team will request for other supporting documents and materials when the inspection happens. They can ask for financial statements, process artifacts, policy documents and other related papers. So, make a list of documents that provide the reports of the current structure of the organization’s internal control and take time to recheck what is in your list.
This is applicable to non-first timers. When you review the adjustments made by your previous auditors last yeah have made, you will have an idea of what they are expecting to see when they visit. It might include correcting unrealistic estimates, errors, and others. You can also consider evaluating repairs and supplies, and make some adjustments in your working and organizational routine before the team arrives.
Even just a little preparation, you will have a great difference compared to not preparing at all. And also, do not hesitate to get help from other auditing professionals that can provide you practical advice and strategies to survive the auditing process.