Auditing is an essential process that helps ensure businesses and organisations implement processes or deliver products and services according to local regulations and international benchmarks for quality. Audits also help determine the financial viability of an organisation, which helps shareholders and investors make crucial decisions. Audits can be done internally by an in-house team of auditors or accountants, or externally through a regulatory agency, government institution, or a third-party certification body. Regardless of the type of audit being done, the process generally involves these core processes:
1) Documentation – Before starting an audit, auditors in DAFZA will inform the involved organisation of the documents they will need. For financial audits, for example, an auditor may request a copy of the previous audit report, financial statements, bank transactions, ledgers, and receipts. Meanwhile, for process audits, an auditor may look for flowcharts, instructions, or manuals. Product audits may include documents including its specifications, environmental impact, cost, and performance standards.
2) Planning – An experienced auditor will evaluate the documents and determine the requirements and processes involved to map out an auditing plan. The auditing plan is based on the expected timeline and available resources. It may also include contingency measures in case of unforeseen factors that may affect the auditing process.
3) Open Meetings – Auditors in DMCC typically conduct open meetings with the involved senior management and staff to discuss the scope, timeline, and requirements of the audit. The auditor will discuss how the internal operations may be impacted by the auditing process, and how the key people involved can best fulfil their roles in the procedure. The audit may include interviews and discussions with key administrative people to determine their compliance and awareness of the policies and procedures, as well as provide them an opportunity to give their feedback.
4) Reporting – Upon completing all the necessary processes, professional auditors create a complete and comprehensive report of their audit, which includes their findings and recommendations. It may include discrepancies overlooked by the financial or accounting team, or potential problems that may arise with the organisation’s current quality management system. The auditor will then provide the key people involved with copies of the report, prior to setting up a final meeting with them to discuss the results of the audit.
5) Closing Meetings – In the closing meeting, auditors present their findings and ask for the feedback of the senior management / key staff members. The auditor elaborates on the audit’s findings and recommended solutions and guides the organisation in forming a feasible action plan and timeframe. Any further issues or feedback are discussed and resolved in this phase.
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