By Ann Gabriel | Negosentro.com
Audits ensure that companies comply with standards. It’s an onsite verification of a process or a quality system to ensure compliance to requirements which can also be classified as internal or external. Internal audits are done by employees of your organization in preparation for external audit. External audits are performed by outside agent.
As stressful as an audit may seem, there’s no need to panic. Here’s what you can consider to make the process run smoothly:
1. Review the audit plan
All audits must have an audit plan. Audit plan serves as a guideline to be followed when conducting an audit. It specifies the time, duration, departments to be audited, scope and direction of audit, names of auditors. This helps audit at a reasonable level and avoid misunderstandings for both parties. Reviewing the audit plan lets you prepare on the specific areas or procedures that need to be completed prior audit date.
2. Organize your records
Make sure all your records are intact and can easily be retrieved when needed. This includes receipts, forms, log books, ledgers, etc. It’s important that when an auditor asks for specific documents, you have those readily available. Records are important because it serves as documentation and evidence.
3. Answer the questions politely
You don’t need to argue with the auditor when trying to defend your point. It’s normal to be asked numerous questions by the auditor. Answer only what is asked. Don’t volunteer to provide any information you are not required to give. Providing unneeded information might lead to more questions.
The auditor may ask you to explain further processes in your department and may also do cross check with interrelated departments. Be prepared to discuss about any changes, results or practices. Be open about difficulties you’ve encountered. After all, audit is about helping you improve your organization.