No matter how skilled and knowledgeable the management of an organization is, there is always room for improvement in operations. Organizations strive to boost the efficiency of their business operations and do not shy away from taking necessary steps. It does not mean the business lacks management, but it highlights its willingness to achieve excellence.
Conducting an internal audit is often the go-to solution to learn about improving the functioning of the organization. It helps identify the risk and opportunities and use them for the best interest of the organization. However, conducting an internal audit while following the process and stages are necessary to achieve these goals.
Dig deeper into the details of this article to learn about the internal audit stages you must adhere to and conduct it successfully.
Top 7 Stages of Internal Audit You Must Follow
Internal audits are organized to get a fair and authentic review of the performance and operations management of the organization. It requires a deep analysis of the functioning of the organization in order to find the issues and opportunities. Following the internal audit stages can make the process smooth, effective, and more reliable.
Here are the major stages of internal audit you must follow to improve the functioning and reputation of your organization.
1. Identifying Auditable Areas
Identifying the auditable areas is the first and foremost stage of internal audit you must follow. Well-established organizations often have multiple departments and sections. Conducting an audit of the whole organization every few times is tricky. Some areas, like quality control, require frequent audits, while others, like financial systems, can do well with bi-annual audits. Many organizations prefer to hire internal audit companies in Dubai and let experts dictate which areas should be audited to boost overall performance.
2. Planning and Scheduling
Planning and scheduling is the next stage of the internal audit process you must adhere to. You cannot just decide and conduct an internal audit in a day. It requires proper planning to handle all the steps efficiently and make the process effective. Planning the strategies to carry out the audit process is extremely crucial. Moreover, you need to notify the authorities of the specific departments or sections where the audit will be conducted to prepare for it and cooperate with the professional auditors.
3. Security Assessment
The security assessment is the next and most important stage of the internal audit process you should never miss or ignore. At this stage, the auditors monitor, analyze, and assess the risks, as well as the security controls of the companies. They can also inquire the employees about the security rules, safety standards, and compliance rules the organization follows to assess their role and knowledge. The professionals identify areas that need improvement in security compliance for future progress.
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4. Compliance Assessment
Compliance assessment is the next stage you must follow and adhere to during the internal audit process. The professional auditors review the functioning and policies of the organization to check their compliance with the laws and policies of the state. If the organization is dealing at the international level, then the auditors will also check its compliance with international laws and policies. Compliance assessment helps an organization avoid negative reviews of state departments, which can also hurt its reputation in the market.
5. Field Work
Fieldwork is one of the most important stages of the internal audit process. The auditors cannot rely only on the documents the organization or its operational team provides for review and assessment. They also interview the employees and higher management, conduct surveys, analyze data sets, verify transactions and review the practices. All of this falls in the domain of fieldwork and highlights the general work pattern and ideology of the organization.
6. Reporting and Recommendations
One of the most significant stages of the internal audit process is reporting and recommendations. This is the point where auditors conduct meetings with the higher management of the organizations. They provide the written report of the audit process, as well as offer verbal briefing too. They offer detailed insight into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and areas of improvement. They also provide recommendations to help the organization grow.
7. Review and Follow Up
The last stage of the internal audit process is the review and follow-up. The auditors are not only responsible for highlighting problem areas and reporting them to the authorities. They also provide reviews and strategies to help the organization improve its performance. The internal auditors also do follow-ups to check the progress and assist organizations in achieving their goals. You can also hire the best internal audit firms in Dubai to get a fair review of the strengths and weaknesses of your organization and take essential steps for progress.
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Does your organization need an internal audit?
If your organization is facing challenges or loss, you can conduct an internal audit to identify the issues. However, do not leave the audit to any random person who can cause loss to your organization. Get in touch with professional audit companies to get reliable and authentic audit that helps your setup grow and earn more success.