Remote Auditing: How well does it work?

With our new reality of social distancing, can internal audits be effective? Do we need to throw out the audit program schedule, or is it possible our audits might even improve? Let's explore some options to help us keep our audit programs functioning.

In reviewing hundreds of audit programs and audit reports, it is sad to say that many of these reports were superficial evaluations of the processes reviewed. Why? The auditors relied on checklists (that asked questions about having and following procedures) and mainly verbal responses (without verifying records or observing practices to confirm the effectiveness of the processes). That limits the reports to verifying conformance with the INTENT and IMPLEMENTATION of the standards without evaluating EFFECTIVENESS. We can do better!

What if our auditors changed focus to review the records and evaluate effectiveness of the processes? How would they identify what to review? Hopefully, by understanding the processes within the...

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Revitalize Your Audit Program Part 2

 

This is the third in the series of blog post covering the content of our October 2019 ASQ Audit Division conference presentation sessions: "Revitalizing Your Audit Program Using Engaging Audit Reporting Practices". This post goes behind the scenes to show the mechanics of creating charts from checklists in Word or other text document or spreadsheets.

Skip this post if you already:

  • use software for reporting findings that creates charts that are meaningful and flexible,
  • have your audit checklist in a spreadsheet set up to insert pivot tables and are confident in creating pivot tables.

Read this post if you:

  • want to know how to get from a text checklist into a format that can be charted;
  • want to confirm your spreadsheet checklist / audit protocol is properly formatted to be able to create a pivot table;
  • have no idea what a pivot table is;
  • need a quick refresher on how to make a pivot table and use it in different ways; or,
  • want guidance to export findings from your...
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Revitalize Your Audit Program Part 1 (cont'd)

This is the second blog post covering the content of our October 2019 ASQ Audit Division conference presentation sessions: "Revitalizing Your Audit Program Using Engaging Audit Reporting Practices".

In Part 1 we introduced several factors that often have limited visibility yet impact the effectiveness of audit reporting. Part 2 focuses on types of findings and visual representation in audit reports to better engage leadership.

Problem 1:  Counting the number of nonconformities without understanding what the auditors are using as the "bar". When the bar is minimally meeting the requirements (Level 1), the management system can be very weak, yet look good to leadership due to low number of issues raised. The figure below shows this light switch mode of thinking of either right or wrong. Individual auditors or the defined audit programs may use a higher bar (Level 2-4). Without clarity of the level being used as the bar, the auditees and leadership are...

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Celebrating at PA Conference for Women

WOW! 12,000 inspiring women and a few dozen brave men celebrated women business leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, coaches, and provided multiple frameworks for mutual support. By supporting each other, we all win. Outstanding key note speakers and a variety of meaningful sessions kept everyone inspired all day. It was a real joy to be an exhibitor in the career area of the marketplace. 

After 12 years of business in the Chicago area, this conference was our inaugural event in Pennsylvania to meet local business owners and individuals interested in making improvements in their organizations. We listened and shared stories about ISO management systems and auditing. It was interesting to hear experiences of the challenges of being the auditor, as well as good and bad stories of being interviewed by auditors. Improving internal auditing programs is our passion. When done well, audits provide great insights into risk management, strengthening good systems, and...

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