Part 6: Tips for Remote Audit Execution
For first-timers, doing an audit remotely can be a challenge. In this article, which is part of our remote auditing series, we will list some important tips to ensure a smooth audit.
This is Part 6 of a seven-part series of articles on remote auditing:
- Part 1 – Remote Audit Objectives
- Part 2 – Is a Remote Audit the Right Choice? The Risk Assessment
- Part 3 – Determine the Method
- Part 4 – Determine the Technology
- Part 5 – How to Prepare a Remote Audit
- Part 6 – Tips for Remote Audit Execution
- Part 7- Remote Audit Reporting & Follow-Up
While remote audits are rapidly gaining popularity, there is no internationally recognized protocol or guideline on how to conduct them. In our series of articles, we have discussed the different steps leading up to the audit. Today, we will look at the audit itself and provide some generally applicable tips for a smooth remote audit.
- During the opening meeting, it is important to define the rules and method of dialogue. The larger the group of participants, the more important this becomes.
- Keep the number of simultaneous participants to a minimum and mute non-speaking participants.
- If you agreed on recording a session (see Part 5), don’t forget to start recording – it happens all the time!
- Make sure people introduce themselves before speaking.
- Make sure everybody has the audit schedule and stick to it
- Distribute documents beforehand
- If you are planning to share screens, make sure to inform people in advance – otherwise, some people will only access with the phone
During the audit, you will likely find that some information cannot be shared remotely. This is often the case for highly confidential information. The auditor must know how to respond in such cases and be aware of the rules. For example, for some standards and schemes it may be acceptable not to disclose certain documents, whereas for others disclosure is mandatory and non-disclosure leads to a non-conformity.
All remote assessments should be concluded with a summary, review of the day(s), issues of concern, clarification of issues, non-conformities and expectations.
Have you completed your remote audit? Great – we invite you to take a look at the next article in this series: Remote Audit – Post-Audit Activities.