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Emily Ysaguirre

Quality Insider

The Benefits of Automating Audit Processes

Ensure transparency and improvements in real time

Published: Monday, June 15, 2015 - 11:24

In any organization, it’s important to audit your processes. Conducting timely audits is the best way of determining the efficiency and overall health of your organization. However, an audit is typically a time-consuming process that requires extensive preparation.

Auditing ensures that you are running an efficient operation, that everything is being handled the way it’s supposed to, and is an essential part of continuous improvement and quality management. A good audit also enables a method for determining the need for change.

Auditing one procedure, not to mention hundreds of processes, across multiple facilities takes time. However, with automation that process is simplified tenfold. An automated audit management system speeds the processes of prepping for the audit, scheduling and conducting the audit, and reporting on audit activities. It also ensures accuracy and consistency.

Below are just a few benefits of automating an audit management system.

Easy audit template creation

This feature allows users to create an audit template very quickly. The template saves the most used keywords and compiles them into lists so users can quickly identify the various types of checklists and preloaded questions they will need. This expedites the preparation necessary to conduct the audit. Users are able to add questions as needed on an ad-hoc basis.

Mobility

Audits happen out on the shop floor, warehouse, and all over the organization. Ideally, auditors should be able to record and audit data while they are conducting the audit so that they can ensure accuracy. Mobility makes this possible. Tablets are a widely used choice for auditors, especially with web-based audit management systems. Mobility allows auditors to enter each audit’s data into their tablet in real time, no matter where they are.

Mobility makes it easier for both large and small companies to achieve their compliance goals. The ability to conduct multiple audits more quickly and efficiently, while gaining visibility and speed, allows organizations to make improvements before adverse situations can occur and cause damage. Mobile auditing also cuts down on the paperwork involved.

Integrating systems

The ability to integrate the audit management system with other modules helps to gain better visibility and control into processes. For example, let’s say you’ve scheduled the audits, selected the auditor, and completed the audit as planned. However, there are findings that require action; now what? Effective audit management tools will automatically integrate with other quality processes, like corrective action, to ensure that there is complete transparency of data. Reciprocal links to the audit system from the corrective action system provide the trail that shows the entire closed-loop process. Similarly, you can link audit findings to update records in document control, to projects for managing change in processes or products, and to training events to ensure that employees are trained. This integration provides the organization with a clear line of sight from the audit to all the processes affected by the findings.

To ensure continuous improvement within an organization, an automated audit management tool is invaluable. This systematic method of checking that internal processes are working the best way they can, and tracking the ways in which they are not, allows a company to grow successfully. Managing and tracking audits along with their results makes for a healthy organization. Much like going to the doctor for a physical each year, auditing is a great way of determining the health of the quality management system as well as the entire organization.

Emily Ysaguirre is the content marketing coordinator for EtQ, a Quality Digest content partner.

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About The Author

Emily Ysaguirre’s picture

Emily Ysaguirre

Emily Ysaguirre is the content marketing coordinator for EtQ based in Farmingdale, New York. She is responsible for developing and writing original content for EtQ.