What is an audit process? Contrary to what many people think, an audit process doesn’t just investigate and monitor the efficiency and security of organizational processes.
In fact, this is a procedure that organizations should use more often because an audit process is quite effective in finding bottlenecks and wastes, helping to continuously improve productivity in an organization.
It’s clear that often their focus is on finding vulnerabilities and risks in a business, not necessarily with the intention of uncovering guilty parties, but finding solutions.
So, if you want an answer to the question ‘what is an audit process?’, we’ve created this quick guide, where we define key concepts, objectives, responsibilities and other important elements.
What is an audit process? Quick reference guide
A set of actions and procedures to control an organization. They aim to test and prove that processes are being conducted effectively and follow due control mechanisms. They also aim to detect opportunities for improvement in the audit process.
Every organization has strategic objectives to achieve.
One of the objectives of the audit process is to verify that all company processes are aligned with this strategic vision and that they deliver the value that internal customers need and external ones want.
You could say this is the central objective of the audit process, but it’s necessary to list others:
- Evaluate the operational efficiency of processes
- Verify that the process chain provides protection for company assets
- Find out if your company information and data is secure and reliable
- Evaluate processes to determine if they’re reliable
- Check for incorrect procedures during processes
- Report detected failures and non-conformities
- Provide recommendations for appropriate corrections
Types of audit processes
As we warned at the beginning, audit processes don’t always have audit motivations, here are their three main types:
1- Preventive Audit Process:
This is a way of anticipating problems, presenting a series of guidelines for the process to take place in the best possible way and indicating, for example, the attributions and responsibilities inherent to it.
2- Detective Audit Process:
Used to detect if there are anomalies in the process, but without pointing out ways to correct them.
3- Corrective Audit Process:
In this case, once the audit process detects a problem, it should investigate its causes to suggest ways to correct it.
Best audit process practices
In order to assist those engaged in an audit process, or who will be submitted to it, we have listed a number of best practices that you should follow:
- The auditor should be aware of the process as a whole, as well as of the other processes of the company, and identify the importance of each one, its phases and correlations with these other processes.
- The auditor must make sure that their tests cover the audited process in its entirety.
- It’s necessary to develop a macro process vision and show how each adopted procedure interferes with it.
- You should document the process through a flow of procedures and controls.
- Use generated documentation to verify that the routines practiced in the company match what the auditor defined in the process flow.
- The auditor should indicate points where possible process improvements can be developed.
- They may also highlight processes that he believes should be the subject of further audits.
- The audit process should be extremely clear about the risks of each process and whether the controls developed are sufficient to cover those risks.
So, what is an audit process?
As you can see, an audit process gives more security and credibility to an organization, align it with strategic objectives and expose it to less risk.
In this context, or through the use of an agile, intuitive BPMN tool that automatically manages documentation which can be a great help, both for the audits and the auditors.