The current crisis that we are going through has required that all of society find solutions to continue their activities in this new reality that include social distancing, travel restrictions and other public safety measures. Quality audits are among the processes that, using the traditional on-site method, have become almost impossible to carry out. With the current difficulties, there is a risk of relaxing or even failing to conduct internal audits. However, it is essential to remember the importance of audits for keeping existing procedures and the culture of quality alive and effective to maintain your company’s hard-earned certifications.
Remote internal auditing: a solution for today and for the future
Remote internal auditing can be an advantageous practice, especially for companies that are spread across large geographical areas or that have many units. Using the right support tools, it is possible to conduct remote audits that are as efficient as on-site ones, with the advantage of being able to perform them more frequently and in a greater number of sites due to the optimized cost.
Advantages of remote auditing
- No need to send personnel to sites
- Greater frequency and number of audited sites
- Auditors are available as you need them and at the right time
- Expands the scope of audits (more sites can be audited, even distant ones)
- People will be working from “home offices” more and more
- Reduced costs
How do remote internal audits work?
A remote audit is, in essence, the same as an on-site audit. Just like a physical on-site audit, a remote one should focus on the determined scope, ensuring that data is collected, validated and archived properly. However, remote audits require some extra precautions that cannot be overlooked. For example:
- Inform those involved in advance of the technologies that will be used and the scope of the audit;
- Check that everyone has the necessary equipment and resources (webcam, headphones, stable internet);
- Install videoconferencing software (Skype, Microsoft Teams etc.)
- Involve IT staff in access security issues;
- Determine the records that need to be evaluated in the audit plan;
- Make sure that people know how to use the software that will be used;
- Perform tests in advance;
- Determine a preparatory time before the meeting to debug the connection;
- Have a pre-established plan for what to do in case of loss of connection.
After the audit, it is essential to formalize the audit results in the Audit Report. It is through this report that the results will be interpreted by top management.
The interactivity and connectivity provided by modern technological tools have opened up new possibilities to maintain, and even optimize, processes that would have been impossible before.
I invite you to learn more about SoftExpert Audit, a solution that facilitates the planning, preparation, execution and remote monitoring of audits. To find out more about the advantages and benefits that an audit management solution can offer your company, contact our SoftExpert specialists. They understand your challenges and can recommend the best way to implement a solution that meets your needs.