Internal auditing has outgrown its traditional role, as merely a systems checklist, and is now crucial for proper risk management, which will help more businesses survive. That was the conclusion business experts came to at a recent conference on the subject.
Head of financial and risk assurance services at SIAO partners, David Raggay, said businesses can only fully increase their performance by having risk management processes, compliance, and auditing in place. He said internal auditing had evolved into a risk-based internal audit, “where it has a big hand in helping management identify and manage risks.
Achieving Effective Governance
Fellow speaker at the event, Humphrey Okorie, CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Nigeria, said that through internal auditing, an organization could achieve effective governance, risk management, and control.
“A business that does not have control cannot achieve its objectives and so control is everybody’s business in an organization,” he said.
These expert opinions are very much in line with the recent changes made to International Standards, where risk, proactivity and increased management involvement have become more dominant. In Australia, these Standards play a very important role in forming effective management systems, covering key issues like environmental management, quality assurance, and workplace safety.
Brisbane-based Training Professionals
Auditing – both internal and external – plays a crucial role in this process, something Brisbane-based consultants, SC Training Centre, understand all too well.
SC Training Centre provides Lead Auditor training and Internal Auditing training in Quality, OHS (Safety), Environmental and Integrated Management Systems (IMS). The team is very experienced in all major industries and fully up-to-date with ISO revisions.
As an example, we’ll take a look at ISO 9001 Quality Assurance Management. SC Training Centre runs a two-day ISO 9001 Internal Auditing training course, with dates available in September and November this year, and throughout 2017.
Introduction To Internal Auditing
This Exemplar Global-certified course is designed to give an introduction to the concept of quality, and consider how quality management systems have evolved. It covers key issues, such as mandatory requirements and documentation, continual improvement, corrective and preventative action, communication skills and, importantly, planning.
Successful, effective internal audits rely on professional planning. There are particular people to talk to, questions to ask and systems to analyze, so everything must be in place from day one of the audits. Students study ways of effecting this, including audit checklists, and the requirements for Entry and Exit Meetings.
The way internal audit works is assessing how things actually are, and then comparing that to how we THINK they are, and how they SHOULD BE. The very point is to uncover potential risks and problems to enable the organization to run more successfully. In other words, auditing is a positive action.
Australia’s Institute of Internal Auditors says that every audit carried out today must be a risk-based audit. Risk comes in many forms, including inherent risk – the risk that exists in the absence of any risk control – and residual risk – the risk that remains after controls have been put in place. Risk capacity is the amount of risk an organization can endure before it collapses.
So, in the case of ISO 9001, a major risk would be that the business was failing to produce quality products and, as a result, was experiencing too many returns, loss of customers and poor reputation.
But remember, the auditor’s job is not to implement management systems but to evaluate them. Implementing management systems is something the business owner and management must do. So, in the case of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management, the business itself must identify potential risks and put in place ways to minimise that risk.
Call On The Experts
It’s quite a complicated process which is why I suggest that any organization going down this path, should work in consultation with experts. Management systems need to be tailor-made to reflect each business so that the correct tools are in place for auditing.
Internal auditing training courses prepare the individual to become an internal auditor within their organization, reporting to, and helping management properly control procedures and policies. Or they may choose to work for an internal auditing agency. The training also prepares that individual to go on and do lead auditor training. These courses are longer and generally prepare trainees to work as a third party or external auditor.
Dynamic Career Choice
Interestingly, many business owners are choosing to undergo audit training, to understand how it works and be better prepared for the future. This is extremely smart, as it is much easier to put effective management systems in place if you understand the workings of an audit.
Internal auditing is a dynamic and rewarding career choice that combines subject knowledge with excellent analytical skills and carries a fair amount of responsibility. With more Australian organizations adopting the risk management approach to business, the demand for internal and lead auditors looks set to dramatically increase.