A remote audit or virtual audit came as a boon to audit teams during the unprecedented covid 19 crisis. It is a method of conducting an audit remotely using technology. Just like an onsite audit, it covers interview with management and employees, verification of documents and reports.
Best Practices for Remote Audits
What Are the Benefits of Remote Audits
Remote audits can be internal or external. It can be at any stage of the certification process, and can provide many advantages.
Unlike the widespread belief that only onsite audits yield results, the remote audits can bring in plenty of advantages. It forces auditors to think out of the box and come up with creative resolution to critical issues. Remote audits can enable active participation from people with different skills and expertise, and helps analyze the issues and come to resolution cost effectively.
Remote audits allow auditors to interview a global network of employees with out travelling. It also helps them to remain on schedule even with travel restrictions. By using technology and effective tools, stakeholders can perform large amount of work asynchronously. It allows them to work in their space and increase the effectiveness of audit efforts.
Saves Cost and Time
Remote audits can be less costly. All the money associated with travelling and time saved can bring in significant cost reduction. Communication at the starting of audit, before or after also can also be recorded. It provides better visibility to the leadership teams and improve the quality of audits.
Conducting a Remote Audits
The remote audit is a dynamic process with auditors engage in technology to audit. The phases in audit processes are:
Establish an Audit Plan
Define the audit scope first. Then, develop a remote audit plan. The audit plan should cover the criteria, checkpoints that will be audited remotely, and the technology used during remote auditing. Once the methodology and approach is confirmed, schedule the audit date with the firm.
Conduct the Remote Aduits
Conduct a kick-off meeting with the management explaining the procedures of the audit. Take a record of the opening session attendees, and identify if there is any changes in the audit plan after the initial meeting with the management.
The remote audit includes the review of internal controls, documents, evidence and proofs, and conducting remote interviews with employees. The proof, documents will be reviewed to support the findings. The team can conduct a closing meeting with the management and convey the findings.
The audit team can create an audit report, also document the methodology and techniques used in the audit and report whether audit was effective in achieving its goals.
Role of Good Software in Remote Auditing
Any type of audits involve review, analysis and evaluation of processes, documents, evidences, systems, and organizations. Auditors assess the accuracy, validity, reliability, verifiability and timeliness of information, as well as the sources and processes by which that information is obtained. An integrated software like VComply helps automate processes and workflows, conduct methodological audits, report incidents, and resolve issues promptly. Using VComply, it is easy to collaborate with stakeholders. It also keeps employees responsible for their obligations, and facilities oversight in executing compliance obligations. Documents, and proofs are made available and accessible. It also provides powerful reports and intuitive dashboards to help auditors gain real-time insights into the organization’s compliance data and risk exposure.