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Internal Audit Process is an expensive initiative. Are you getting a return on your investment? Auditor training, auditor time, employee time, audit reports, tracking findings and resolutions adds up to big $'s. Are the findings worthwhile? Are your auditors preventing major failures in your system or are they finding spelling errors?

Internal Audit Process is a tool for continually monitoring the performance of management system. The effectiveness of Internal Audit Process is dependent on many factors. Most important factor is the management attitude towards the internal audit. If management views it as a policing function, the autit process will not be helpfull, and instead it may be harmful to an organization.

Auditing a process is a skill that is taught and developed. Well trained auditors will sample parts of the system periodically and make sure that things are operating the way they should. They will be able to identify opportunities for improvement. Good auditors will find problems before they have an adverse effect on your customers. Good auditors know your processes thoroughly, that's what makes them good. They know how things must operate to recognize a situation when it's out of the norm.

To see how effective your auditors are, observe your auditors in action. Are employees avoiding the auditor's presence or are they looking forward to showing off their accomplishments to them. If they are avoiding them you may need to train your auditors better. Well trained auditors and a positive attitude to the audit process from management and employees will have a positive impact on the management system.

If implemented with a positive approach Internal Audit Process can help make the organization better and help drive improvement initiatives. Your Internal Audit Process can be a cost or turn out to be an investment.

Danuta Highet

Foqus, Inc. May 2006

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