Auditing is one of the most important processes for your business, but it can also cause the biggest headache. Regardless of whether the auditor is from a third party or inside the company, a great deal of energy and time needs to go into an audit. With the advent of new electronic technology, many companies are using software to automate their auditing process.
Automating the auditing process is a necessity. Manual auditing has more room for human error, and it takes far longer. When it comes to automation, the main question is how each business will approach it. The needs of different businesses will vary depending on their industry, size, and exact business model.
These are eight ways to automate your auditing process.
1. Tailor your software to the specific audit.
This may seem like common sense, but many people don’t realize how customizable software is. You should know exactly what data is being gathered by the auditors. Use automation software to make this information as easy to compile and analyze as possible.
2. Use electronic communications to get approval from the auditing team.
Before you settle on any one software, you should talk to the auditing team about what they want. Give them some examples and ideas you’re thinking about. No one has a better sense of what’s important than the auditors. They’ll be able to tell you whether your imagined software is helpful or not.
3. Get specific feedback about your ideas.
Feedback is essential when you’re picking the best automation processes for your company. Not only should the auditing team see your ideas, but they should also be free to pitch ideas of their own. Encourage them to compile a list of needs they’d like to see met. They might also make a list of convenience features they’d like in an automation software.
You can ask the team specific questions and analyze their responses like a consumer report. Are spreadsheets or flat text easier to read? Is all data necessary, or will the audit be conducted with random samples? In cases with no exceptions, should a report be filed at all?
4. Automate other company processes.
Auditing software isn’t the only automatic software that can help your business. There’s a ton of comprehensive enterprise software available that integrates with your auditing software. Completely automated systems will help your company run more efficiently and with less room for error.
There are other benefits to company-wise automation, too. Having everything on the same operating system means that updates and adjustments will be easier. Communication will also be much more streamlined, while workers have more dynamic jobs.
5. Use automated reporting to stay up-to-date on your business.
When you’re running your company, you want to have a big picture view of what each department is doing. Automated reporting is one of the best ways to accomplish this. You should have automated reports available and easy to access. These reports should also be available to the appropriate heads of different departments.
Automated reporting will make auditing much easier. Rather than comparing numbers by hand, the audit team can run all the reports through a program to search out anomalies.
6. Train other employees in how to use the software.
Automation software shouldn’t be exclusive to you and the auditing team. Everyone in your company should have a sense of how to use it. The benefits of automation are huge. You won’t run into problems with missed deadlines. Additionally, employees will save a huge amount of time that would otherwise be spent compiling manual reports.
7. Make sure you have a backup plan.
Automation software, like all things electronic, has the potential to fail. If anything should go amiss with your program, you don’t want your business to be helpless. Make sure you have a backup plan for how to keep the business functioning if you’re without your software for any length of time.
8. Allow all employee activity to be tracked.
The auditing process becomes much more transparent with automation software. You can track each employee’s contribution to the audit. If any changes are made to reports, you’ll be able to view them and see who made the changes.