Preparing for Your Internal Audit – Points to Consider to Minimize Risk

The risks of performing your own internal audits vs. the opportunities of outsourcing

The beginning of each new year is a good time to take a look at your internal audit process and how well you are monitoring your company’s performance. Do you have a robust audit process? Here are some points to consider to minimize your risk.

To prepare for your internal audits, do your auditors have the qualifications needed?  An internal auditor should be a trained, competent, impartial person who is unbiased in regard to the process(es) being audited. In addition to competency of internal auditors, be aware of other common nonconformities written by 2nd and 3rd party auditors regarding 9.2 Internal Audits:

  • Audits not performed as scheduled or conducted at all
  • Not auditing the internal audit process
  • Audit scheduling not considering risk, past findings and current performance to determine audit frequency
  • Objective, scope and criteria not clearly defined for each audit
  • Audits are not utilizing a process-based approach
  • Audits do not include Customer Specific Requirements (CSRs) or contract adherence

If you’re using “canned” checklists with little to no evidence of audit planning, that’s also a possible nonconformance. Being prepared requires identifying the risks and addressing them.

We’ve designed a risk and opportunity analysis in this Risk Register for internal audits as a way to demonstrate a documented example of risk-based thinking.  Based on the risks, your company might use it to justify outsourcing your internal audits.  The infographic at the top shows how the benefits outweigh the risks.

Consider ways to improve your company’s quality management system and processes and drive a culture of continual improvement.  Check out our website for free internal auditing tools and resources.

Should you decide to outsource your internal audits, contact us. We would be happy to discuss your needs and provide a quote for a customized audit program. 
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