How to turn Audit into opportunity

The word “audit” can create a sense of panic in even the most organised business.  It’s that fear of a test you may fail, a forensic investigation into your processes that’s sure to turn up some box not ticked – despite your best efforts.

Audits occur for many reasons; to maintain accreditation, to meet your franchisor’s requirements, to ensure correct HR and workplace safety practices, but too often businesses wait until the last minute to prepare for a scheduled audit and then it’s a scramble where key people are taken away from their main functions to plug gaps, create documents and implement required processes.

How do you make sure that you are audit ready without the last-minute scramble? How do you turn an audit into an opportunity?

  1. Make as many of the auditable requirements as possible part of your everyday way of operating. Your skills matrix should reflect back to tasks that need doing on a daily basis.
  2. Those requirements that can’t be integrated into the every day, allocate a half day a week or month (whatever is required) to attend to them. And make it non-negotiable.  Actions like reviewing policies to ensure compliance against local, state and federal laws and regulations needs to be done regularly and amended as changes to legislation or industry requirements occur.
  3. Add Audit Readiness as an action item to your monthly management meeting agenda or higher level WIP meetings. Table reports identifying areas of current non-compliance and develop easy-to-implement strategies to fix any issues.
  4. Don’t see an audit as a punitive measure but as a chance to learn and an opportunity to improve efficiency and productivity of your business, not just at the last minute, but every day.

Our experts at FC Business Solutions can help you with a Health Check of your business that will identify areas that fall short and help you devise plans to fix problem areas and integrate auditable practices into your everyday procedures.