If you are planning to start a business or have already taken the first step in your company, you should know that organization will be your ally. Having internal audit checklists from the beginning will give you advantages in productivity, organization and comparison of results, something fundamental in the early stages of a company.
Internal Audit Checklist
We have already reviewed what checklists are and their different implementations in different production areas. That’s why we think it’s a good time to start preparing a checklist for an internal audit. First of all, in order to make one, you have to contemplate how checklists are:
Characteristics of Checklists
It is proven that checklists increase efficiency and performance in companies. While different types of checklists pursue different goals, such as coordinating activities, troubleshooting, or checking what stage delegated tasks are at, they all have some characteristics in common, namely:
- Document all activities.
- Simplify terms and tasks.
- Efficiently organized.
- Understandable for any member of the company.
One of the functions of checklists can be to fulfill internal audit tasks. Although we associate audits with accounting, internal audits are not only economic reviews, but are also used to ensure information security, regulatory compliance, evaluate company performance and manage risk.
To make a checklist that could conduct an audit using management software such as Full Audits, the steps to follow are simple:
- Rate an item.
- Verify that the item information is useful.
- Add comments needed to complete the checklist.
- Upload photos and videos during the audit.
- Make annotations and graphs to identify the areas to pay attention to.
- Create issues to generate a post-audit action plan.
A very noticeable advantage of some checklist software is time saving. For example, once the audit was conducted, the software processes the data and automatically generates a situation report, optimizing 60% of process time.
Examples of Checklists
Processes within organizations, regardless of whether they are small, medium or large, are complex and time-consuming. Given the human component, when we make checklists we have to aim at those that can streamline and optimize these processes as much as possible.
There are countless types of checklists that fulfill this function. The most popular are usually those that cater to verification of specific tasks or functions. In all cases checklists will be divided into sections that address the different particularities of the sector to which they are directed.
This is logical, since a checklist of a logistics company will be of little use to a CEO of a hotel company. It will not be the case, if he is offered a specialized checklist, with sections that focus on details related to hospitality, customer dealing or the conditions of the facilities.
An example of the most popular checklists at Full Audits are those related to hygiene and safety in laboratories, verification for food and beverage suppliers, ISO 22000 standard and verification for franchises or food stores. That is, those that look at the specific needs of each sector.
ISO 9001 Checklist
ISO 9001 is an international standard for business improvement of the Quality Management System (QMS). Being certified in ISO 9001 quality standards greatly benefits companies, as it helps to:
- Improve and optimize operations.
- Continuously reduce costs.
- Obtain authorizations to compete for tenders.
- Build customer trust.
- Project more sustainable businesses.
An audit helps to identify, address setbacks, and uncover potential improvements that can be made. They will guarantee an optimization in the processes, in order to comply with the criteria of the ISO 9001 (2015) standard that consists of planning, doing, reviewing and acting.
Audits can be internal or external. With an ISO 9001 internal audit checklist, it will be possible to compare the quality management system that is implemented in the company at the time of the audit, with respect to what is stipulated in the ISO 9001 standards.
This way, besides preparing the company for external audits, internal audits help companies to notice signs of low conformity, opportunities for improvement and to project actions for the compliance with quality standards.
Full Audits in Your Company
If you still have doubts about whether your company is ready to have a checklist software that can facilitate and optimize its management or not, then it is time for us to invite you to try a demo. This way you can see how Full Audits will enable you to optimize the processes in your organization, for free.
In this 7-day trial, your company will be able to create or migrate its own checklists; plan, assign and execute audits; create issues, organize its structure of establishments, assign permissions to users and even analyze data from the business intelligence module.
This way you will be able to see in action the functionalities of our mobile application in combination with the web platform. Thus, you will verify that Full Audits is able to provide information to raise the safety and quality standards of your organization by filling simple checklists.
Visit us and consult our plans to find out the costs and possibilities according to the size of your venture, company or corporation.
Standardize Processes with Checklists
The standardization of processes is an ace in the hole of any company that claims to be efficient. No matter the size of the company, standardization offers competitive advantages by establishing performance indicators and unifying procedures. This enables leaders to make data-driven decisions. Some advantages are:
- Increase of productivity.
- Avoidance of duplicate activities.
- Detection of errors.
- Increase of customer satisfaction.
- Growth of the company.
- Allows remote troubleshooting
- Decreas of work stress.
But to achieve effective standardization, in-depth knowledge of the company and effective management tools are crucial. An effective way to conduct management is by implementing management software that includes checklists. This way, companies can:
- Collect information in real time.
- Measure team performance in the workplace.
- Detect issues.
- Guarantee the quality of provided products or services.
These are some of the reasons why Full Audits recommends implementing checklists to start standardization processes in companies.
What Is Reviewed in an Internal Audit?
An internal audit reviews the status of your management, control and governance processes. Therefore, an internal audit is an exhaustive analysis of how the different areas of a company are working in terms of accounting, politics and production.
In other words, the audit is useful to find out about the state of a business, analyze and optimize its controls and performance. Through these actions, it is sought to verify that the rules are respected and the interests of the company are protected.
What Is an Internal Audit Checklist For?
As we have seen, an internal audit is an important process in a company. This requires the greatest possible transparency on the side of employees. Having a checklist to carry out this task can be positive since it is necessary to follow a series of completely automatable steps. The steps are:
- Programming: in this case it is important to determine what will be audited. Checklists will help to disaggregate and specify areas, resources, priorities, failures, issues, performance, and other aspects to be surveyed.
- Execution: Doing an analysis without a tool that manages the collection of data from all dependencies can take longer than expected. The answer is to be found in software that can survey and process the information of all the areas and aspects to be edited.
- Report and action plan: Usually, the last step in an audit is the drafting of a report based on the data collected and the proposal of an action plan. The great advantage behind the use of checklist software is that reports are generated automatically and without human biases. This gives more time for planning the next actions in the company.
What Is the Function of an Internal Audit?
The main function of an internal audit is to analyze the correct operation of a company according to internal and external regulations. Thus, it prepares the company for external audits.
In addition, internal audits help companies to add value through the evaluation of the effectiveness of their processes, notice signs of low compliance of employees and customers, opportunities for improvement and to project actions for compliance with quality standards.
You already know that if you are looking to conduct a complete audit in your workspace, you can plan and execute an audit checklist to detect the areas for improvement and problems in your company. Save 60% of the time of the audit process of your team with software that carries out the process for you.