What is the purpose of compliance audits?
Compliance audits are critical for all businesses. Organisations, irrespective of their size or industry, have the mandatory obligation to comply with regulations, failing which may result in high monetary and reputational losses. In simpler terms, compliance audits are a way to ensure that you are carrying out your work up to a basic required standard.
Preparing for audits is a pain
Preparing for a compliance audit is a pain for many organisations. Compliance audits vary in how they are performed and what they measure based on the compliance frameworks, but the necessary steps for audit preparation remain the same. Effective compliance audit preparation requires a thorough understanding of the regulations as well as the business processes of your organisation. Here are some helpful steps you can take to clear the next compliance audit.
1. Stay up-to-date on regulations
New business process pronouncements and regulations may affect your compliance audit. Staying up-to-date on changes will help you ensure compliance with regulations for managing and tracking your data. It is also essential to keep up-to-date on the changing regulations to anticipate their enforcement priorities.
2. Analyse recent changes in the organisation activity
The auditor should be made aware of any recent changes in your organisation activity. If your organisation just started a new program, had some processes changed, discontinued a few approaches, made significant changes to the internal control system, or received a grant, it may trigger reporting considerations. Such activities must be duly recorded and reported to the auditor.
3. Create a map
A successful audit requires careful and precise work and preparation from both inside and outside your organisation. Review the information required by the auditor in the form of work papers, schedules, etc. Assign each item to a corresponding team member with a due date that also considers time for review and correction, if needed. Plan the process of information collection like a roadmap and follow it thoroughly.
4. Review previous audits
Learning from past audits always helps prepare better for future ones. Gather information about previous audit adjustments, internal control recommendations, challenges faced during past audits, etc. Carefully studying the previous audit documentation helps get a track of CAPA taken to resolve issues. It ensures a better conversation plan with the auditor to acknowledge the improvements made from the last audit.
5. Review requests and ask questions
It is advisable to review the auditor’s request for information and ask questions to enhance your understanding. Encourage team members involved in the auditing process to discuss and ask questions to ensure its success. Asking questions about the need for information and the auditor’s areas of interest can help prevent easily-avoidable communication errors during the compliance audit.
6. Perform a self-compliance audit
A self-compliance audit is one of the best ways to figure out how your organisation will fare in a compliance audit. Conduct one in-house before your scheduled compliance audit. You can either appoint an internal team or independent auditor to do the task. Being prepared with proper documentation and follow-up processes for corrections are essential to pass an audit.
How Mobiom can help
Instead of running haywire when preparing for your next compliance audit, seek help from a carefully-crafted compliance audit management system. Mobiom is the powerful online audit management software which streamlines every stage of the process of compliance auditing for organisations irrespective of their size or industry. Apart from helping internal as well as external auditors to conduct effective audits, Mobiom also helps the decision-makers to take corrective actions to resolve issues and plan better for the future. Robust reports generated by Mobiom help keep non-compliance risks at bay.