Tips for Effective Value-Added Auditing

Whether you are auditing a quality management system OR an environmental management system – the same principles apply

In practical terms, then, how can businesses themselves help the auditors make a more effective audit? Some methods include:

• making the whole process more lean. There is a belief that 15 per cent of every audit is spent ‘finding records’ and supporting documentation. If businesses assembled the appropriate process records as dictated by the audit plan it would not only save time but also instill a best practice technique for future audits

• training employees in the audit process themselves so they are aware of the processes and systems surrounding a company-wide audit

• encouraging staff to view the audit as an asset to their business life and not a hindrance that must be treated with suspicion

• installing a reliable document management process and encourage the use of simple flow-charts and diagrams as opposed to written procedures

• identifying, encouraging and maintaining the quality of the internal audits/auditors. Demonstrated effectiveness in this one area of the management system allows the auditor to focus on opportunities for improvement and strategic business issues rather than having to keep verifying basic system requirements when the internal audit process is less than expected’