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The significance of audits: How they help your organisation

Audits are important for your organisation to improve the quality and safety of your products and services, and to create a uniform and reliable way of working. Sometimes a certain audit is mandatory, such as financial audits for listed companies or privacy audits for organisations that process personal data. But even if that obligation does not apply to your organisation, you can still benefit from audits. What types of audits are there? For what purpose are they carried out? And how do audits help your organisation move forward? You can read about it in this article.

What is an audit?

An audit is a periodic or one-off examination of some aspect of an organisation, usually based on certain reference standards such as NEN or ISO. These investigations are done by a person or party specialised in conducting audits: the auditor.

Using checklists or questionnaires, the auditor examines whether the reality within an organisation corresponds to the way of working described in the standard. If there are any deviations, the auditor determines how serious they are. At the end of the audit, the auditor hands an audit report containing all the findings of the investigation to the client.

What is the added value of an audit for your organisation?

An audit provides insight into the functioning of your company, process, product or system in relation to the opportunities and threats in the market and any legislation you have to comply with. This provides your organisation with the following benefits, among others:

  • Efficiency increases as processes run more smoothly;
  • Better and more timely response to opportunities and improvement possibilities;
  • Better and timely identification and reduction of risks;
  • Better compliance management;
  • Clear expectations on how work will be done, making employees more motivated;
  • Time and cost savings;
  • Competitive advantage because your organisation is demonstrably working to certain quality standards.
De betekenis van een audit

Types of audits: internal audit and external audit

Internal audit

An internal audit is conducted by an auditor employed by your organisation. The focus here is usually on process improvement or risk management. The initiative for internal audits usually lies with the organisation itself. In fact, audits are an excellent way to continuously improve your business activities. They reveal risks and opportunities and provide handles for improvement. Examples of internal audits are operational audits, IT audits and quality audits.

External audit

An external audit is carried out by an external, independent party. For example, do you want to certify your organisation to an ISO standard or do you have an obligation to comply with specific legislation? Then periodic external audits are part of it. These are commissioned by external organisations, e.g. regulators. Examples of external audits are financial audits, AVG/GDPR audits, health and safety audits.

Audit levels

Both internal and external audits can take place at three levels:

System audit 

In a system audit, the auditor looks at the extent to which an existing system meets the needs of users. The auditor tests whether system requirements are being met by quality management and looks at whether the system is operating effectively and properly.

Process audit  

In a process audit, the auditor looks at how a particular process works by going through it step by step. At each step, the auditor tests to what extent the reality on the work floor matches the process description.

Product audit  

A product audit assesses the output of the processes: the products or services. Here, the auditor mainly pays attention to the features and characteristics that customers consider important, such as safety, user-friendliness, quality and durability.

Auditmanagement Zenya CHECK

Better audit management with audit management software

By audit management, we mean the way the process of conducting audits is organised. In practice, many auditors have to gather their information from loose documents and systems. And sampling too is often done using Excel files or simple questionnaires. While good audit management can ensure that your audit process itself is also more effective and efficient.

Audit management software, such as Zenya CHECK, helps you digitise and streamline the preparation, set-up, planning and execution of audits. Whether you want to better comply with guidelines and laws or regulations or, for example, conduct employee or customer satisfaction surveys, it is important that the audit software fits in how your organisation works.

With our low-threshold audit management system Zenya CHECK, you can easily create and periodically complete checklists and questionnaires. Not only does this make the audits themselves faster and more efficient, it also makes reporting and assigning and monitoring follow-up actions based on the findings much easier.

The benefits of our audit management software:

  • The software is flexible. You can work with various types of questionnaires, checklists and surveys. This allows you to quickly identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Easily create questionnaires for periodic monitoring of quality standards and safety requirements.
  • Conduct systematic and disciplined research, thereby ensuring good and reliable performance.
  • Set out actions so your colleagues know what is expected of them, thanks to clear actions and tasks, individually or per team.

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