In-person audits are no longer possible due to the ongoing travel and company limitations. Remote audits are used by companies to maintain supplier assurance standards. Find out the key 6 elements of remote auditing.
The technology of remote auditing has proven itself well for checking small, geographically inaccessible companies or in the presence of a strictly limited budget for conducting an audit. The audit itself is carried out by analogy with documentary inspections of the labor inspectorate. In fact, the result of the audit is no worse than during an off line audit. Of course, despite the similar algorithms of work, the audit of accounting and management reporting has its own specifics:
Step 1: Make a plan.
Backtracking is minimized and the process is streamlined with a well-planned remote audit. It will also aid in ensuring that a stakeholder’s policies and processes appropriately match supplier expectations and requirements. Because there are currently no laws governing remote audits, organizations should assess each supplier using a risk-based approach and determine if the desired goals can be achieved through a remote audit.
- Review the list of key things for each supplier before moving on with a remote audit, including whether:
- Specific security and data protection problems are not addressed in the quality agreement.
- If there are any obvious IT problems, firewalls, security, or limits, please let us know.
- Access to pertinent recorded information, such as software, databases, and documents, can be granted.
- Due to unforeseen circumstances, the organization continues to operate on a regular basis.
Step 2: Arrange for a first stakeholder review.
Following initial planning, the company must present essential stakeholders with an evaluation of the supplier’s profile, which comprises the following deliverables:
- Company and contact information
- How will the audit be carried out?
- The kind of audit
- Risk category for suppliers (high, medium, low)
- Being audited is a product, service, or object.
- The audit will last for a certain number of days.
- Required number of auditors
The remote audit should follow the same structure as an off line audit. A new or existing supplier audit is used to ensure that the supplier’s capacity to satisfy product needs, manufacturing demands, and a quality management system is still in place. Stakeholders must guarantee that both sides are knowledgeable about the procedure and have access to the internet.
Step 3: Hold an opening meeting
A phone call or a video conference online meeting can be used for remote contact.
- Sheet of attendance
- Plan and actions for the audit
- Examine the goals, scope, timeline, and criteria (standards and regulations, procedures and policies are applicable to work, procedures are up to date, employees are trained, records maintained, historical information, sampling plans and strategies, verification through observations, discussions and review of documents)
- Concerns about health and safety
- Confirm daily meetings as well as the final close-out meeting (s)
Step 4: Submit a report
The goal of the audit report is to disclose the findings of the inquiry so that management may make the appropriate choices and actions. The audit report should be a thorough and accurate document. Even if no observations are made, an audit report is necessary. Ensure that the audit report is prepared using common terminology or definitions for unfamiliar ones, and that acronyms and fluff are avoided. The following items should be included in the report:
- Scope and objectives
- Team of auditors
- Locations and dates
- Criteria for auditing
- Findings/nonconformities of the audit, as well as proof of the nonconformity
- The categorization of risk
- Provisions for keeping track of remedial action and follow-up actions
- Improvements that might be made or input on the vendors’ best practices
- Statement regarding the extent to which the audit criteria were met
- Declaration of the secret nature of the information
- After the audit report is dated, reviewed, and accepted, it should be disseminated to the appropriate parties.
Step 5: Take Action
Ensure the correctness, adequacy, and appropriateness of the remedial action and documentation received meets and supports the audit findings after the audit findings are finalized.
Step 6: Close out the project.
The audit is finished when all of the planned audit activities have been performed, or when the audit client has decided otherwise. A later audit may include verification of follow-up actions.