You can never excel in internal audit unless you have a clear knowledge of what the process entails. This why we pay close attention to making sure that our clients have a clear knowledge of the audit process. You can never audit a process that you are not familiar with. You should know how the process should be working, what it should be doing, the controls, resources, activities, outputs, and inputs. If you are not sure of any of these items in your business, we will help you to identify it. The expectations actually vary from one organization to another. It all depends with the nature of your business or industry.
The initial step could be creating a turtle diagram for your process. Some organization may already have done this for you as part of the documentation process or in the past audits. The turtle diagram will look at the customers, outputs, resources, controls, activities, inputs and suppliers. If you don’t have this in place already, there is no need to worry. We have a team that will help you to put everything in place.
While laying out a turtle diagram, the process activity is usually a box in the middle. The inputs will come in through the left and exits from the right side of the box. List the customer in the upper right corner and the supplier in the upper left corner. You place the controls above the process activity while the resources will be below the process activity. Feedback is an arrow that flows from the output to the input.
The input are the things that the process required for the activity. This could be in the form of product or activity. Input include things like demand, quantity, specifications and requirements, type, budget and due date. We will help you to identify the inputs depending on the type of business that you are running.
The supplier is the one who supplies the inputs to the process. They can either supply material product or information. The process activity is the actual process. There are so many associated tasks that contribute to the process. The process also varies depending on the nature of your industry.
The output reflects the results of the process. It could be material, energy, or even information. In most cases, it can be the delivered service or desired product. For instance, a product like a piece of test equipment or computer would be the output. It can also be information like manual or book, training materials, and failure analysis. Examples of services include processing the payroll, doing laundry, or mowing the grass.
Controls are those items that regulate the rate of converting into outputs. These could be requirements for materials, planning software, inventory analysis, or the purchase requisition approval process. As we said earlier the exact items differ from one organization to another. We have a team that will help you in identifying and categorizing each item.
Resources are the items that are consumed or used in the process activity. It can be money, machine time, or people’s time. To be precise, resources may include the company representative who supplies the product or service, money, purchasing agent, the buyer, or the other support functions that have input for the purchase. The additional resources would include the office space, fax, phones, material planning software, and computers. All of them have a critical role to play during ISO implementation and internal audit.
The customer is the group that takes the output and uses it. If they reject your product, then you are doomed to fail. Therefore, we cannot avoid them in the audit process. These people will compare your output to that of your suppliers and look for the items that maximize your utility. The output can also be used as a resource or an input for another process.
The last thing will help you when it comes to leaning the process is the feedback loop. It is the mechanism that is used in monitoring the process. Look at the metrics that the process owner uses to know if the process is performing or when there is a need to take a corrective action. For suppliers, it could include on-time delivery, dollars spent, supplier performance, or inspection information. Our consultants will make sure that you are getting every step right from the on-set.