Make internal audits a success with these 10 tips (2024)

Make internal audits a success with these 10 tips (1)

An internal audit is a practical oneQuality management toolto control and improve important operational processes. It shows what is going well and what is not going well and where there is still room for improvement. In this article, we present 10 useful tips to help you make any internal audit a resounding success.

Why do an internal audit?

An internal audit is an investigation within an organization into the proper and reliable operation of operational processes. As the name suggests, an internal auditcarried out by people who are employed by the organization under investigation.

An internal audit can...concentrate on one or more processesand is characterized by the fact that the investigation is carried out in a systematic, structured and disciplined manner.

An internal audit can be useful and valuable for several reasons.

  • The insights gained through internal audits provide you with aconcrete opportunity to improve operational processes.
  • Thanks to additional quality control you will receivemore insight into operational and strategic improvement pointsthat raise your processes to a higher level of quality.
  • An internal audit gives you a better overviewSavings opportunities.
  • When you conduct regular internal audits, you show your own organization and the outside world thatthat you take quality controls seriously.

You can read more about the nature and usefulness of internal audits in this blog.

Tips for successful internal audits

Ideally, an internal audit is more than just a means of control. If carried out properly, it is also a valuable improvement tool. Benefit from the following tips to make an internal audit a success story with lasting results.

1. Set a firm goal

The value of an internal audit increases significantly if you set firm goals beforehand. When you have a clear goal, it becomes much easier to create a good inspection plan.

When formulating a goal, ask yourself the following questions in particular:

  • What will I do?
  • Why will I do the audit? Is the focus primarily on improving operations, minimizing risks or reducing costs?

2. Create foundation and authority

A good internal audit is more than just a compulsory exercise. A suitable foundation within the organization (from management to personnel level) is therefore an important prerequisite for success. You create a foundation by appointing an auditor with authority. Such a person is open, honest, diplomatic, culturally sensitive, persistent and decisive.

3. Set priorities

A good internal audit provides you with a lot of information. In order to keep track of everything and prevent yourself from seeing the forest for the trees, priorities should be set. Based on your audit objectives, determine which process components or risks deserve the most attention.

4. Ask the right questions

A successful audit depends on asking the right questions. So think carefully and concentratedly about this point at an early stage.

Examples of good questions in the area of ​​process optimization are:

  • What are you doing right now?
  • How does a process work from start to finish?
  • Where are the most important sore points, bottlenecks and risks?
  • What (production) goals have I formulated and how do I achieve them?
  • How do we monitor process setup agreements?
  • What procedures and instructions can we use to manage operations well and comply with agreements?
  • What do employees think is going well and what is not going well?

5. Identify the people involved

Determine in advance who you will involve in conducting internal audits. If you create good planning, the parties involved can adjust accordingly. Which employees you involve in an internal audit depends in part on the number of employees, departments and branches within your organization.

A good overview of those involved gives you a more accurate picture of the “scope” of the audit. But it also makes it clear how much time is needed to talk to everyone involved.

Make internal audits a success with these 10 tips (2)

6. “Appreciative” checking

An internal audit is more than just a means of control. And it's certainly not just querying. If you still want to pursue this kind of academic approach, it will quickly lead to a one-sided focus on things that aren't going well. By doing this, you end up creating a negative atmosphere that can cause employees to retreat into their shell and be less open when it comes to providing answers and valuable feedback.

“Appreciative review” is usually a better strategy. As part of appreciative reviews, you ask more about positive points and encourage the employees surveyed to think about changes with you. The result is targeted improvements while maintaining the existing strengths of a process.

7. Think about the right tone

The sound makes the music. This fact also applies when conducting internal audits.

As an auditor, formulate any points of criticism and suggestions for improvement in a constructive manner and continue to think critically. It is not for nothing that certain standards state that auditors should “use professional judgment and not focus too frantically on the specific requirements of the individual points of the standard being tested.”

8. Formulate suggestions for improvement in an understandable way

It is important that any suggestions for improvement are based on clear evidence-based, verifiable findings. Also formulate suggestions for improvement in such a way that employees can identify with them. This will increase your chances of maximum success.

9. Divide internal audits into topics

An internal audit often has a broad scope because you want to cover as wide an area as possible. But this can also have a negative impact. If an internal audit becomes too comprehensive, it loses depth.

The solution: divide audits into topics. By breaking the audit into multiple topics and areas, you can add variety to the topics and add more depth to each subarea. In addition, both the auditor and all interviewed employees are given more space to ask further questions.

10. Choosing the right tools

With the right tools, you can carry out an internal audit in a good and relaxed manner.

DieCompetency management software from AG5is an example of such a digital tool. All the information the auditor needs – e.g. employees’ skills, tasks and certificates – can be accessed directly from a central environment. This means you no longer have to sift through dozens or hundreds of documents to find the information you need for an audit.

Here’s to a successful audit!

A good internal audit has many benefits. To get the most out of this proven form of quality control, good planning, the right mindset, support within the organization and the right tools are essential requirements. Therefore, use the tips above to make your next audit a success story.

Make internal audits a success with these 10 tips (3)

Rick van Echtelt

Rick van Echtelt is CEO at AG5 and leads the company to success. He can often be seen on the soccer field coaching talented young soccer players.

Read all from Rick

Als Experte auf dem Gebiet interner Audits kann ich Ihnen umfassende Informationen zu diesem Thema liefern. Ich werde im Folgenden auf die wichtigsten Konzepte eingehen, die im Artikel erwähnt werden.

Was ist ein internes Audit?

Ein internes Audit ist ein Qualitätsmanagement-Tool, das zur Kontrolle und Verbesserung wichtiger Betriebsabläufe in einer Organisation eingesetzt wird. Es wird von Personen durchgeführt, die bei der untersuchten Organisation angestellt sind. Das interne Audit zeichnet sich durch eine systematische, strukturierte und disziplinierte Untersuchung aus.

Warum ein internes Audit durchführen?

Ein internes Audit ist nützlich und wertvoll aus verschiedenen Gründen:

  • Es bietet eine konkrete Möglichkeit zur Verbesserung von Betriebsabläufen.
  • Es ermöglicht einen Einblick in operative und strategische Verbesserungspunkte.
  • Es hilft bei der Identifizierung von Einsparmöglichkeiten.
  • Es zeigt, dass die Organisation Qualitätskontrollen ernst nimmt.

Tipps für erfolgreiche interne Audits

Um ein internes Audit erfolgreich durchzuführen, können die folgenden Tipps hilfreich sein:

  1. Setzen Sie ein festes Ziel: Definieren Sie klare Ziele für das Audit, um einen guten Prüfplan zu erstellen.
  2. Schaffen Sie eine Grundlage und Autorität: Ernennen Sie einen Revisor mit Autorität, um sicherzustellen, dass das Audit ernst genommen wird.
  3. Setzen Sie Prioritäten: Legen Sie fest, welche Prozesskomponenten oder Risiken die größte Aufmerksamkeit verdienen.
  4. Stellen Sie die richtigen Fragen: Formulieren Sie gezielte Fragen, um wichtige Informationen zu erhalten und Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten zu identifizieren.
  5. Bestimmen Sie die beteiligten Personen: Planen Sie im Voraus, welche Mitarbeiter am Audit teilnehmen sollen, abhängig von der Größe und Struktur der Organisation.
  6. Verfolgen Sie einen wertschätzenden Ansatz: Fokussieren Sie nicht nur auf negative Aspekte, sondern ermutigen Sie die Mitarbeiter zur Zusammenarbeit bei der Identifizierung von Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten.
  7. Achten Sie auf den richtigen Ton: Formulieren Sie Kritikpunkte und Verbesserungsvorschläge konstruktiv und denken Sie kritisch nach, um eine positive Atmosphäre zu schaffen.
  8. Formulieren Sie Verbesserungsvorschläge verständlich: Begründen Sie Verbesserungsvorschläge auf evidenzbasierten Erkenntnissen und stellen Sie sicher, dass sich die Mitarbeiter damit identifizieren können.
  9. Teilen Sie das Audit in Themen ein: Um den Überblick zu behalten und mehr Tiefe zu gewährleisten, können Sie das Audit in verschiedene Themen und Bereiche aufteilen.
  10. Wählen Sie die richtigen Werkzeuge: Nutzen Sie digitale Werkzeuge wie Kompetenzverwaltungssoftware, um das Audit effizient durchzuführen.

Ein erfolgreiches internes Audit bietet viele Vorteile und erfordert eine gute Planung, die richtige Denkweise, Unterstützung innerhalb der Organisation und die Verwendung geeigneter Werkzeuge.

Ich hoffe, diese Informationen helfen Ihnen weiter. Wenn Sie weitere Fragen haben, stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung.

Make internal audits a success with these 10 tips (2024)

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