The Business Benefits of Outsourcing Internal Audits
What comes to mind when you hear the words “internal audit“? For many, the thought of internal audits evokes anxiety and dread. Our mental checklists might shoot through the roof, and a feeling of unpreparedness starts to settle in. For employees that also have the responsibility to act as their organization’s internal auditor, the pressure to deliver a high-quality audit can also be overwhelming. Think about it for a moment. Conducting an effective internal audit is a vital step to ensuring a successful management system certification or surveillance audit.
While few may look forward to undergoing an audit, it is an important requirement of management systems such as ISO 9001, ISO 45001, ISO 17025, API Spec Q1, API Spec Q2 and many others. For organizations that choose to carry out their own internal audits, the planning can be stressful. Depending on their preparedness, the process can be a painless experience or an unproductive and costly burden. Outsourcing internal audits is an ideal solution for organizations interested in a more effective, productive and value-added auditing experience.
What is an Internal Audit?
An audit is defined as the “systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining objective evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled” (ISO). Internal audits, also referred to as first party audits, are conducted within an organization. They can be conducted by an individual auditor, an audit team or an external company.
The internal auditing process ensures that the management system conforms to the organization’s requirements and the requirements of the standard. It also provides assurance that the management system is properly implemented and maintained. Internal audits should be considered as more than just a requirement; they are an important tool that provides organizations with objective information they can utilize to continuously improve!
Biggest Challenges of Internal Audits
Organizations that decide to keep the internal auditing process in-house often experience several challenges. The biggest challenges of internal audits may include:
Personal egos or agendas can prevent the internal audit process from being effective. Internal organizational politics can especially be difficult to overcome, especially if the appointed auditor lacks experiences and focuses on auditing the individual rather than the process.
Added Cost Training Part-Time Auditors
One of the reasons organizations may validate keeping internal audits in-house is to save money. However, these employees may lack the knowledge on how to conduct internal audits or how to audit your management system standard. They will need to undergo training to learn how to audit your specific management systems, such as ISO 9001 or API Spec Q1/Q2 internal auditor training. Keep in mind that since acting as the internal auditor would not be part of their core responsibilities, attending training regularly on an annual basis may be needed as a refresher.
Wasting Precious Time and Resources
When employees have the responsibility to conduct an internal audit, they are pulled away from performing their main job functions. This can cause major disruptions to daily operations. If they lack experience in planning audits, they can end up wasting not just their time but the auditee’s time as well. This results in an inefficient and unproductive audit that wastes time and lowers employee productivity.
Lack of experience
New internal auditors may lack the experience needed to ensure your internal audit adds value. They might just see auditing as checking off a box instead of a tool that can provide information to improve your business. If your organization has moved to a remote environment, they might not be familiar with how to conduct remote audits. Utilizing technology to conduct internal audits adds another level of complexity for an inexperienced auditor.
Independence and Objectivity of Internal Auditors
Selecting employees to conduct objective and impartial audits can be difficult, especially for small to mid-size organizations. When auditing their own department’s processes or their own work against the standard, the internal auditor can find it challenging to remain unbiased.
What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Internal Audits?
Outsourcing your internal audits to a company that offers expert auditing services, whether for one site or across all sites, is an ideal solution for organizations that desire more valuable insight. There are several benefits that companies that decide to outsource their internal audit programs experience, including:
Reduce Time and Cost
By outsourcing internal audits to professional auditors, your audits will run smoother and more efficiently saving your employees time. By electing to have an outside company, such as The ISO 9001 Group, conduct internal audits, organizations save on having to pay a fixed salary to a full-time internal auditor.
Gain High-Value, Impartial and Objective results
A fresh pair of eyes can bring recommendations that are objective and unbiased to help your company improve. An auditor from an external organization will have an outsider’s perspective and may be able to identify things that might be challenging for internal employees to notice.
Reduce Internal Auditing Training Costs
By utilizing internal auditing services, your organization can save on additional training costs. Not only are our Certified Lead Auditors knowledgeable on the ISO 19011, the management system that provides guidance on auditing management systems, they are also experts on how to audit specific management system requirements for different standards.
Allow Employees to Focus on Revenue Generating Activities
Your organization will be able to save any lost revenue that may be incurred by pulling employees away from their main jobs to wear the internal auditor “hat”. Our auditors can schedule and plan efficient internal audits that can minimize disruptions to your organization’s operations. Your employees will be able to focus on what they do best.
Professional and Experienced Certified Lead Auditors Add Value
By bringing in professional internal auditors from an outside organization, organizations can gain value from their experiences. They may be able to offer invaluable solutions and input that other organizations in your industry have used to tackle similar challenges.
Organizations can take the stress out of planning and conducting internal audits by outsourcing them to auditing experts, such as The ISO 9001 Group. There are several challenges that can prevent in-house internal audits from being effective. By bringing in our Certified Lead Auditors, your organization can maximize your resources and ensure an effective audit that adds real value. Interested in outsourcing or improving your internal audits? Contact us to learn more.
Victoria Ontiveros | Marketing Coordinator
Victoria focuses on creating quality educational content that provides value to current and potential clients. By collaborating with members of leadership and sales, she is able to develop informative articles that answer common questions and connect with current trends.
Victoria earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in communications from Texas A&M University.