The audit’s done and all that remains is to write the report, right?
You can pack up your notes and leave the auditee, right?
In the Diploma of Quality Auditing qualification delivered by LMIT you’ll learn the end-to-end process of planning, conducting and finishing a quality audit.
You would never let a property valuer enter your home, have a look around and then leave without providing you with any feedback on the price they think you could sell your house for, so you shouldn’t leave the audit without completing the following.
The auditee/s will be extremely anxious to hear how it all went, what your perception is, feedback on their processes and activities, what the findings are and most importantly, what’s going to happen next.
It’s important for an auditor to provide a brief verbal summary of how the audit went.
It certainly wouldn’t cover every detail that would be written in your report, but at least ensures the auditee will be able to sleep that night (particularly if you are unable to finish the written report for a few days)! It also provides the opportunity to ensure that the auditee understands correctly before we put it in writing in the report.
In Second and Third Party audits, this may take place in the form of informal progress meetings or at the completion of the audit; an Exit Meeting.
Unless it’s a formal Exit Meeting, the following must be summarised to put all interested parties at ease.
- What we did
- What we found, including patterns, trends, interrelationships and areas of risk that has assisted in you in arriving at your findings
- Issues they may need to address
- Recommendations you will be making.
Most importantly, remember that nothing in your report should be a surprise to the auditor.
You do not need to run a half day presentation on how the audit went. Think of it as just letting them taste the flavours of the ice-cream you’ve picked – some they won’t like and some they will – but when the report comes everything they tasted will be there – and no more.
It is perfectly OK to contact the auditee at a later date (prior to submitting your report) to notify of something you may have forgotten to raise in the close out summary.
Similar in purpose to the verbal summary, an Exit Meeting may be planned and carried out to formally inform all or any interested parties in the audit outcomes and findings.
It is often used for a lengthy audit in a large organisation, or after a team of auditors collate their findings to present the final outcomes to the auditee(s).
This meeting may consist of any person in the auditee’s organisation, regardless of whether they were directly involved in the audit or not and also consist of all audit team members in the cases of an audit being conducted by numerous auditors.
Again, preparation is vital in this meeting, particularly if there is an audit team who has had to collate their results. This meeting may be held before or after the completion of the audit report, so long as there has been sufficient time for the information to be collated and analysed in order to report it at the meeting.
An agenda is typically formulated and distributed to the attendees and usually consists of the following items:
- An overview of what the audit covered (the scope, procedures, criteria and so on)
- An overview of what took place
- What the findings were, including any non-conformances
- Your recommendations
- Any follow up activities you may need to schedule
- When they can expect to receive the report if it hasn’t already been written.
Published by: LMIT