What an Audit will tell you about your business

Who do these people think they are, with their expensive suits and cheap shoes, eyeballing your business and its inner most sanctity?

It’s true. Auditors do tend to make people tense and resentful, mainly due to the inconvenience, but also due to fear associated with the unknown. Whether it’s an internal or external audit, these are pretty normal emotions, but an audit can also work to your advantage by revealing things that can reduce friction and improve performance. Sound like a well-tuned engine? Exactly.

So unbolt the door, and call off the hounds. This may be just what your business needs.

Information Symmetry

Say it out loud. Has a nice sound to it doesn’t it? Those two words maybe the nicest, calm inducing words in the document control world (apart from increased revenue, of course). Having correct processes, married with a mindset of ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’, will only lead to greater confidence for management and staff, and greater potential to focus on the business and not the behind the scenes matters, so much.

Unorganized document control will send money you never even saw, flying out the window.

Risk Exposure

An audit can be a minor, internal reflection of current practices, or a full scale, guns blazing analysis of every business process currently in place.

Intellectual property risks, privacy violation, and personnel security risks are fairly scary issues to put on the table, but an auditor will generally have insight into the smaller, seemingly insignificant issues that lead to these larger risks. An audit will throw up possibilities, early warning signs and even scenarios that can be identified as happening in real-time. The potential for the snowball effect needs to be caught as soon as possible.

Compliance Irregularities

Irregularity is such an interesting word. It doesn’t come right out, hit you in the face and say “you’re non-compliant”, but still has a way of leaving a bruise at its very utterance.

Regulations vary from industry to industry, as do the anomalies found. Failure in compliance will no doubt bring yours to the forefront. Maybe it’s your refund processes that are not up to scratch, or simply your workflows that identify problems. None the less corrective actions will be needed. If irregularity does enter the conversation, then fixing the problem is the only way. Compliance is so important for most industries, why you wouldn’t allocate your time and attention on it? It may mean the difference between opening the doors tomorrow, or not.

Outdated Record Keeping

So, its 2016 and your business still relies on a manual filing system. You’re not exactly alone, and you may like the old ways, but an audit can expose its inadequacies quite blatantly.

The need to access documents that may be unavailable due to loss or damage, is a concern for anyone looking to audit processes or confirm compliance. Best practice relies on an organization to understand the importance of upgrading to the most efficient, user friendly, and headache-reducing system possible for its individual needs. Solutions are out there. Antiquated record keeping will only hold you back. It’s time to move up.

If it so happens that an audit has exposed some or all of the above issues, all is not lost. Ask questions whenever and of whoever you need to. Answers tend to clarify quite quickly.

Everyone needs guidance at some point.

We all should be looking to continuous improvement and an audit may improve the over accomplishments of your people and if you’re lucky, increase your bottom line. A great starting point is to be honest with what you need to achieve the things that may be lacking. The truth will set you free.