It has been an extremely challenging year for every business which has quickly brought to attention the need for companies to be adaptable, responsive and as tech enabled as possible in order to not only survive but to thrive in the post-pandemic world.
Internal audits have evolved in various ways over the years but with the recent challenges they have adapted in order to help organisations identify and address potential issues, retain their valuable ISO certification and effectively navigate through the pandemic.
The Challenges of Auditing During the Pandemic
Working remotely for several months has meant that internal auditors and their teams have had to rethink how they approach their work and come up with new processes in order to be more adaptable and flexible going forwards. As the fallout from COVID-19 continues to affect organisations in different ways it is important to recognise how these businesses might have changed and how auditing will need to change with them.
Obviously performing an internal audit at a physical location can be deemed impossible for some businesses in regards to health and safety and social distancing. However, this does not mean that such a vital part of maintaining an effective management system should be forgotten about or ‘put off’ indefinitely until things resolve as that could be many more months or even years away. In fact, there has never been such a crucial time to carry out internal audits.
By carrying out internal audits, organisations are taking the necessary steps to ensure their management systems, which are heavily relied upon, are functioning effectively, helping them to retain compliance and achieve their goals.
Remote Internal Audits
Professional Internal Auditors should be able to present you with options for carrying out internal audits to help maintain your quality management system at a time when you need it the most. Even with a lot of staff members working remotely there are many ways that audits can be adapted to ensure that your QMS is working effectively and efficiently.
At JR Consultants, the structure of our internal auditing procedure remains as familiar as possible with changes only where necessary in order to achieve a successful auditing process. The way that remote audits are conducted means that they are likely to take part in a way that is more fragmented, over a longer period of time with a schedule of agreed upon web-conferences to make it easy and convenient for those involved.
In order to perform a thorough internal audit it may be crucial to engage in a number of communications remotely including things such as;
Web Meetings or Video Chats
This type of communication has been utilised by a lot of companies during the pandemic and is very useful for talking through things with the management team, working as a substitute for in person conference room meetings.
Phone Calls or Conference Calls
These can be used to discuss or retrieve information when there are just one or two people involved and are useful for going through things such as reviewing reports and analysing data.
Emails are a crucial part of auditing remotely and every piece of important information will need to be sent this way in order to keep an accurate evidence record.
From auditing management reviews and discussions with the management team to evaluating internal audit records and performance data, there is not much that cannot be done successfully by remote auditing.
Internal Auditing Services
JR Consultants are working hard to deliver safe remote internal auditing to our clients, helping to guide them through these uncertain times and review as much of their management systems as possible in order to keep their business running efficiently.