It would be fair to say that opinions on internal audit processes can vary wildly in the world of business. There are some firms that will insist that internal audits are nothing more than a paper exercise, ticking boxes that firms are supposed to deal with or providing administrative and paperwork roles for employees. Other firms believe that the role if internal audit is crucial for the success of a firm and in developing confidence that the business is moving in the right direction and offering great value and service to customers and employees alike.
The fact that there is so much divergence about internal audit would indicate that the success or failure of internal audits may owe more to the firms implementing the audits as opposed to the role of internal audit and auditors.
A firm that is committed to internal auditing, provides their auditors with all the access they need and are willing to act upon the findings of the audit process will find that internal auditing can add a great deal of value to their business. Firms that have an internal audit because they are required to do so or think that they need to have them but do little to support the process or implement the findings will not gain much benefit from the process and may believe that internal audit is just a paper exercise.
Firms need to think about what they do
This is where firms need to think about what they do, what sort of quality they offer and whether they have quality systems in place that will guarantee success on a regular basis. Any firm or business can gain success in a one-off situation by being lucky or being in the right place at the right time. In the long term, successful businesses know why they achieve success or they know what doesn’t work for them.
Any business that is looking to be a success in the long-term has to aim for continuous improvement and this is where having the systems and checkpoints in place will help a firm to be better placed to achieve success in the long-term.
Quality management systems provide the cornerstone for business success
Firms need Quality Management Systems to ensure that they are focused on providing what customers want and need and this is where the ISO9001:2008 comes into place. Having a structure that outlines what a firm should be doing to provide quality and meet the needs of their consumer base is essential and this system can be adapted to firms of all sizes and all industries. This means any business looking to be a success in the long-run should look to implement this sort of structure.
The use of Internal Audits to review the workings of a department can be crucial in the successful running of a firm. Having the ability to measure the output or performance of every individual in the workforce and to create genuine aims for the company is the cornerstone to analysing issues, making improvements and achieving success. Having these elements in place will lead to customer satisfaction and increased profitability, which is surely what all businesses are looking for.
When it comes to adding value to your business, having confidence in what you do and having employees that understand what they do and can be properly evaluated on these aspects is crucial. These are the values and elements that provide considerable worth for years to come, making the business much more likely to withstand the fluctuations and variations in the marketplace and things out with their control.
The merit of Internal Audit will depend on how seriously a firm undertakes it and acts upon the findings. There should be no doubt that when used correctly, an internal audit can provide the pathway for moving forward and for removing the problems of the past for any business or industry.