As a business owner, it’s your job to take responsibility and accountability for the health and safety within your company. There’s a lot at stake if things aren’t as they should be. The good news? You don’t have to take stock of everything yourself.
An auditor is someone whose job it is to inspect processes, procedures, record-keeping and other aspects of your business to make sure everything is being done correctly, accurately and to the standards of the Health and Safety and Food Safety laws and regulations.
Keeping things in-house might seem like a convenient and cost-saving measure for auditing, but it’s not without problems.
5 Reasons Internal Auditors Might Not Be As Effective As You Might Think…
1. It’s An Internal Issue
If you use an employee to examine your business, they’re going to have to inspect the work of their colleagues and present them with any wrong-doings. Their role is to identify issues and report them, but they won’t be able to give solutions. This can make people feel uncomfortable, unfairly scrutinised and frustrated, leading to a workforce filled with tension, resistance and resentment.
2. Lack Of Skills
You might appoint an internal auditor from within your business because they know all about it, but do they have the skills required to do the job? To be a fantastic auditor requires a specific set of hard and soft skills, from communication to critical thinking, analytical to organisation, and empathy to curiosity. Plus, it’s essential they can understand highly technical processes and industry-specific regulations and standards.
Working within the business could lead to your auditor having preferences for the way things are done, or for certain colleagues. This could cloud their judgement in auditing those particular processes or people, causing them to turn a blind eye should they find any problems or discrepancies. If other employees feel there is any preferential treatment going on, it’s going to get their backs up, and could quickly lead to a mutiny amongst your ranks.
An audit is an unbiased examination, verification and presentation of facts, whereas a process review requires a formal assessment of procedures and implementing changes when necessary. Sometimes internal auditors can go into overkill, blurring the lines between the two. It can stem from feeling they need to prove themselves in the role, justify their position and make the audit ‘worth it’. Identifying an entire load of non-conformance may be used as validation that what they’re doing is of value to everyone involved.
5. Tuned Out
In stark contrast to going overboard, you might find that your internal auditor glosses over things. Forgetting to observe the finer details or ask open-ended questions to uncover all the pieces of the puzzle. When your auditor only asks yes/no questions, there’s very little chance they’ll be able to put all the pieces together to get a full picture of what’s actually going on. It might also tempt them to fill in the blanks themselves using their ‘insider’ knowledge of the business, leaving room for error and misinformation.
To upskill your internal auditors, why not book them onto the one-day Highfield accredited course, such as Highfield Level 3 Award in Effective Auditing and Inspection Skills course?
The Benefits Of An External Auditor
An external auditor is an independent professional brought in to examine your business without prejudice, bias or discrimination. They’ll approach any audit of your business with a deep personal interest in providing you with the most accurate information because that’s what they’re trained, experienced and employed to do.
Here are some ways an internal auditor will benefit you and your business…
- Your external auditor will inspect your records and let you know if they give a true and fair representation of what’s actually going on. Giving you the confidence to continue with things how they are, or an insight into the processes of your business that might need a review for change.
- They can help to implement a framework that an internal auditor can work to and maintain between times. Helping to ease any internal friction between your team, and enabling your internal audits to become more focused on strategy and achieving your goals.
- By looking at your business with a fresh pair of eyes, an external auditor might spot things that someone who sees things day-in-day-out may miss. Giving you peace of mind that everything has been considered and nothing gets missed.
- It’s hard to look at your own business and identify areas that need improvement. An external auditor doesn’t have the emotional ties you do, enabling them to identify weaknesses with ease so that you can take action to put things right as soon as possible to minimise risk.
- External audits can help to increase the credibility of your business, and the confidence of your shareholders. An independent review will give people the peace of mind that how your business presents itself is a genuine reflection of what’s going on beneath the surface.
Looking For An External Audit?
Look no further!
External audits help to keep your business safe and legal. Helping to protect you, your employees, customers and anyone who comes into contact with your business free from harm.
We have over 27 years of expertise, meaning you can rely on us to identify any issues and help you put things right. To find out more contact us here…