Why an Internal Audit is Required for a Successful ISO Standard Implementation

Businesses need to consider effective ways to keep improving their processes, performance, and quality of the output to make sure they always sustain their position in the intensely competitive market. Internal audit is a key strategic activity that can help them.

“Internal audit is the thorough evaluation of an organization’s processes, internal controls, products, and management system in an objective way that helps them to find any weaknesses, faults or discrepancies.”

Thus, on completion of the audit, the organization knows what things should be set right to maintain their process efficiency, performance, or quality. There is another crucial reason why internal audit is required. It helps the organization to ensure compliance with international standards like ISO 9001 and other important legal requirements.

In this blog, we have further explored what an internal audit is and why you should consider performing it at a certain periodic interval in your organization. Take a look.

Internal Audit: Scope and Procedure

Internal audits are generally performed by the organization’s own members (having skills of examination) or by an appointed external agency. Such audits are categorized into three types- process audit, system audit, and product audit. Clearly, by the names, you can understand the scope of each type of internal audits.

Process audit is the evaluation of internal operations and processes of the business to find inadequacies, inefficiencies, and nonconformities to the industry rules or standards.

System audit is about meticulous examination of a particular management system of the organization such as the Quality Management System (QMS) or Information Security Management System (ISMS). It is about confirming whether the system comprises all essential elements and is operating aptly to achieve the predetermined objectives.

Lastly, a product audit is about evaluating the products or services to confirm that they meet the requirements of customers. It is also about analyzing whether the inputs or processes that help to produce the products are conforming to the industry guidelines.

4 Reasons Why an Internal Audit is Required for Getting Certified to an ISO Standard

Here we point out the main reasons why an internal audit is essential for continuous improvement of your business and securing your success at ISO certification.

Thorough Process Assessment

A prime reason to conduct the internal audit in your organization, even if any ISO standard implementation is not on the line, is to assess the processes and ensure their efficiency. It is essential to check frequently whether the processes and internal controls are executed properly and are helping your organization to deliver the desired output in time!

Therefore, the first key purpose to do an internal assessment is to find out if your processes and controls are fulfilling their purpose and to identify any discrepancies in them. This will subsequently help you implement corrective actions or initiate changes in the processes to resolve all the issues.

Meeting Compliance with ISO Requirements

Whichever ISO management your organization aims to achieve, an internal audit will help you in getting it confidently. It must be done at the final stage when the dedicated management system is fully implemented and has matured over time. It will help to identify the requirements of the ISO standard that are not met by the system or are partly met. Accordingly, you can work to correct those noncompliance issues in the system so that it is deemed fit for certification.

Another compliance aspect that an internal audit helps your business with is legal compliance. There are various legislative requirements along with industry regulations that a business is required to abide by for proving its competence or authority to remain in the industry. Moreover, violations of those mandatory regulations will land your business into trouble like hefty fines, lawsuits, or penalties.

Therefore, to avoid any noncompliance risks, an internal audit is a vital practice. The auditors must have the knowledge of your compliance requirements and will double-check every aspect of your business to ensure none of the requirements are missing out.

Mitigation of Risks

Organizations also should consider internal audits as a viable practice to eliminate the risks or potential vulnerabilities in their operations. Risks are inevitable in any business. Whether it is your company’s assets, information security, products or inventory, internal processes, supply chain, logistics operations, or decision-making, risks can emerge in any of these aspects. Thus, the best you can do is to prepare for the risks.

Audits will help you identify the risks in any area of your business before they aggravate and hinder your core operations or impact the quality of products/services.

Getting Unbiased and Valuable Insights

Whether it is a process audit, system audit, or product audit, the auditors will evaluate everything in an impartial way and provide you with true insights into the aspect you need. Based on their observations, they will provide an unbiased judgment regarding the effectiveness of your processes, management system, or products. They will point out the weaknesses, shortcomings as well as strengths in your business. Considering their feedback in a positive way will help you to make changes in your processes, products, or management system and thereby, enhance their performance.

Final Takeaway

Internal audits are a non-negotiable practice for businesses that want to improve their operational efficiency continually and achieve an ISO management standard or standards. Also, operations, management functions or products of a business evolve with time. Internal audits will help to make sure that they are still compliant and effective despite the changes they have gone through.

The stakeholders of a business which include the customers expect that its products or services are compliant with the highest standard or regulations. They need to be assured about it so that they can invest their money or time in your business. Therefore, this is also a reason why internal audit is required to be performed at frequent intervals. It is required to maintain your compliance and let the stakeholders have faith in your business.

When it comes to performing an internal audit, many organizations either do not have the right resources, skilled members, or time to do it. If you are facing one of these problems, we at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC can assist you to get your internal audit done in a quick time without interrupting your core operations. To get in touch, visit our contact page or call directly!