Selecting the right external auditor for your business is as crucial to your business as the compliance you are needing to demonstrate. Your organisation will likely work with the auditors for many years, and they can play a pivotal role in measuring the success of your organisation. It is therefore an important task to select an assessor with the right skills, experience and aptitude to suit the culture of your organisation.
In this article, let’s see what you can do to ensure an effective audit procurement process and the qualities you should look for to select the right auditor for your organisation.
1. Planning the proposal
Before beginning, upfront and thorough planning and preparation the audit procurement process can have its rewards. It is crucial to determine the scope of what needs to be audited and specific criteria, standard or requirements that will be audited. This process will help you communicate the expectations of your organisation from the audits with the auditor or Audit Company. Clearly defining the requirements, you need from an auditor will help make the process of selecting the right auditor easier.
The external auditor must have the external auditor certification that will match the scope and standards you want audited. For example, if your audit is aimed at complying with an ISO Standard, then the auditor will need to be qualified to audit the standard, and the audit company they work for will need to be accredited to perform certification to the same Standard. Ask for proof of qualification and training that certify them to perform the audit your organisation requires. To ensure your auditor is qualified, you can also check their details in the professional registers section of websites, such as Exemplar Global.
Industry experience of the auditor is a significant factor for deciding the efficiency of the audit. If your auditor has experience in your industry, it will lead to an ideal partnership. An experienced auditor will be familiar with your business goals and pain points. They can also provide more relevant value-added services and translate their analysis into concrete actions that your business can take.
4. Use of technology
The use of technology while conducting audits can never be underestimated. Technology can be used to process large quantities of data across organisations and help find issues quickly. Technology enables auditors to see the ‘bigger picture’; to focus more on assessing their findings, interpreting the data, and its implications. If the auditor you select isn’t familiar with the latest technology, your organisation can miss out on essential insights into your business. Select an auditor who is skilled in the use of automated audit management systems.
5. Value proposition
Working with well-respected auditors or auditing firms can be the key to a smooth and effective auditing process. Auditors that have helped establish the standards for auditing and assessment practices will likely be of a high-value proposition. You can check an audit firm’s reputation through testimonials, references, or awards.
6. Quality assurance process
Before selecting an auditor, make sure you enquire about their own internal quality assurance process. This can be measured in terms of their compliance with the relevant legislative requirements, auditing standards, and reporting practices. Asking questions about peer review procedures, technical training of auditors, professional development plans, accreditations, etc. will help draw more attention to their quality assurance process.
7. Room for negotiations
The fees charged by an auditor or auditing firm is also a key decision factor. You will want to negotiate the best value possible for your organisation, but in doing so, make sure the auditor is registered, and they provide quality services. Choose an auditing firm that offers competitive pricing, excellent value, and transparency of the total price of the assessment, but is also accredited or qualified to perform the services they claim.
8. Customer support
A good auditor should also provide ongoing support for decision making and growth. They will often be in regular contact with you to bring to your notice issues or improvement opportunities and benchmark information that is relevant for your business. Businesses using agile decision-making often need real-time data in order to keep rapidly improving and staying ahead. This is where your auditor can give you feedback and important information for your decisions. Internationally recognised auditors or auditing firms can also help raise your business reputation internationally.
If you are looking for the right auditor for your business, you may also seek help from automation. Adopt the best compliance management software with workflows that suggest the right auditor for your organisation based on their qualifications and availability. Achieving compliance has never been this easy.