Audits are conducted by companies, government agencies and accrediting bodies to evaluate if individuals and businesses are meeting desired outcomes, documenting accurately and complying with set standards. In addition, audits can assist in identifying areas of improvement. The audit can be conducted by assessing particular pieces of information and evaluating the results.
Using a checklist to conduct an audit will shape the specifics of what needs to be looked for in an audit, how to measure the results, and provide a documentation process for the audit.
Determine what exactly you want to audit and how auditing is achievable. Consider the outcomes your wish to achieve and who is best to complete the audit. For example, if you want to audit a call center employee’s performance, consider reviewing the individual’s average telephone call statistics during a typical week to assure they are meeting company standards.
Document the questions that will answer a definitive response that can be measured or scored. For example, if auditing a policy against accreditation standards, on your checklist, ask “Does this policy require the company to xxx?” (List the accreditation standard’s requirement.)
Develop measurements that correspond to each area of your audit and determine scoring method. For example, if you are auditing whether or not employees completed a particular training, the answer to your question will be a yes or no response. Create methodology to achieve an overall or pass/fail score.
Create a checklist document or software program to capture the results of each audit. Documentation of your audit is important to prove you’ve completed all aspects of the audit and scored each element.
Complete quality assurance testing to determine if the criteria in your audit is valid and makes sense for the outcomes you want to achieve. If the audit consistently fails or does not produce desired outcomes, evaluate if you are completing the audit correctly. For example, if you are auditing system documentation and the audit repeatedly fails, determine if you are reviewing the appropriate area of they system where the information should be captured.
- California State Auditor: What is an Audit?
- The Auditing Group, Inc.: Audit Checklist for Drug Industry
- New York State Society of CPAs: Learn the Basics: Auditing 101
- Internal Revenue Service. "Charity and Nonprofit Audits: Correspondence Audit." Accessed Nov. 3, 2020.
- Internal Revenue Service. "IRS Audits." Accessed Nov. 3, 2020.
- Community Tax. "IRS Tax Audit Penalties." Accessed Nov. 3, 2020.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.