The benefits of internal audits

BY Rebecca Randles ON 3rd August 2015.

If your company has any kind of award or standard granted by an external organisation, it’s likely that part of the requirement is to hold audits. With ISO standards, for example, companies are audited to ensure they are still entitled to hold that ISO – in other words, to ensure they are still compliant.

But even if your business doesn’t have an ISO or similar award, holding internal audits to ensure your levels of service and performance are maintained will reap rewards.

Companies which hold internal, regular audits find they bring huge benefits.

So what are those benefits, other than highlighting areas where a company isn’t compliant?

An internal audit can bring reassurance to a business and its stakeholders that processes are going well, and any areas identified as falling behind or failing can be amended.

Audits may reveal areas where a company is at risk, and also areas which are acting as barriers to progress.

Results of audits will help a business to prioritise. If an audit reveals gaps in customer service, then this may take priority where before increasing production had been the main focus.

Audits help businesses face problems head on, and so avoid nasty surprises – in effect, they act as an early warning system.

And businesses can use the audit process as a vehicle to gauge views on different strategies they may want to adopt – while the auditor is at work he or she can ‘sound out’ the workforce on new plans and ideas.

An internal audit process makes for much more transparency between a business and its customers, suppliers and stakeholders, and also within the business itself. And in a world where compliance is essential, an internal audit is surely the key.

For more information and advice about internal auditing processes please email marketing@imsm.com