Accounting and Auditing Risk Management Global

Optimize Auditing Process: 5 Steps to Follow

Optimize Auditing Process: 5 Steps to Follow
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In the corporate world, auditing process can be tedious but a necessary step for all organizations – big, medium or small. The leaders of each company have to be on edge with auditing so as to not miss any issues in the future.

Conducting an audit and following it up with the necessary steps can be easy if you can optimize auditing process and the related flow of activities. Here are how leaders can optimize auditing process for their company in five steps.

They are:

  1. Preparation
  2. Open meeting
  3. Execution
  4. Closure meeting
  5. Reporting

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Audit Preparation

There will always be a reason to conduct audits in the first place apart from the yearly ones. Preparation for the audits is an integral part, which decides the quality of the results and further actions. It can be divided into three, which are: 

  • Team Selection – Selecting the right team for audit is important. The auditor should have deep knowledge of applicable standards and regulations, along with impartial judgement capabilities to assess the files. The team members should be qualified and certified or experienced in auditing.
  • Agenda – Agenda is a list of schedule and list of documents that needs to be prepared by the audited company’s staff for verifications. It describes the direction of the auditing process, the departments to be audited, and notice for the relevant staff to be present for verifications.
  • List of Documents – All sort of documents are needed to be analysed during the auditing process. The auditors will prepare a list of documents initially that has to be submitted for verification and authentication.

Audit Open Meeting

A common meeting with the members of the auditing committee where the following steps are taken.

  • Agenda Review – The team reviews the agenda that are already prepared and crosschecks with the whole team if there are any changes, additions or deletion from the list. The audit team also discusses the execution methods and other details.
  • Criteria Review – Suitable criteria selection allows for reasonable measurement or evaluation of the subject by auditors. It can be policies, procedures, or requirements used to compare the audit results.
  • Attendant’s Log – The auditors verify the attendance of the necessary personnel who are notified. Apart from the audit team, the departments which are being audited needs to have representatives who can provide with the documents on the list for verification.

Audit Execution

The audit execution can be done in three steps, which are – 

  • Auditing Checklists – The auditing team checks the documents for auditing as per the prepared checklist and list of documents. 
  • Evidence Collection – As the list is being checked, the team also collects the related evidences, both hard and soft copies as necessary. If there is lack of evidences the said document is noted down along with the issues.
  • Staff Interviews – Interviews are conducted simultaneously along with the auditing process to verify the authenticity of the submitted documents. All the statements are noted and recorded as evidence.

Audit Closure Meeting

Closure meeting is conducted after the documents are gathered and the verifications are assessed. It can be divided into three reviews such as:

  • Auditing Results Review – The results of the audits are reviewed by the team of auditors for any missing documents, frauds, data validation, or mistakes. The audit team can crosscheck the results with similar previous results to compare.
  • Strengths and Weaknesses – The results can be combined to find whats good and bad about the audit. strengths and weaknesses can be figured out from the analysis.
  • Findings Review – The findings can be reviewed by the panel of experts to verify and do a final check to ensure that nothing has gone wrong with the auditing process and subsequent reported results.

Audit Reporting

Reporting is the end stage of the audit process where the findings are officially reported to the company in the presence of the leadership members. Various questions, debates, discussions or analysis can be conducted during this phase to ensure that the results are acceptable. This phase also gains the approval of both the auditor and the audited sides and the conclusion of the auditing process.

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