Basically auditing is an organized process of finding and evaluating evidence with impartiality regarding statements about financial actions and events. Auditing is done to determine the degree of correspondence between the provided statements and accepted standards and communicating the findings to interested parties.
During an ISO audit the auditor authenticates that the management system is meeting the requirements of the applicable ISO standard and checks to confirm that the actions taken to fulfil the company’s quality objectives are appropriate. Moreover, it is the job of the auditor to confirm that any issues within the management system have been addressed and try to find any improvements that can be opted for the system development. For stage 1 audit the objectives of the auditor will be to assess organisation’s locations and any site-specific situations. The auditor will also evaluate company’s understanding regarding standard requirements. An important objective for this stage will be to settle the scope of company’s documented management system, practices and site(s) and associated legal and regulatory features as well as related risks. The auditor will also have the objective of planning the next stage audit and form the planning activities for Internal Audits and Management Reviews. At this point the auditor will also assess the organisations willingness for a Stage 2 Audit and spot any areas of improvement in the management system.
The audit objectives for the second stage will vary from the previous one. The auditor will review the Management System’s implementation and effectiveness. The auditor also aims to evaluate the company’s performance against the basic objectives and goals for performance that includes examining, measuring, reporting and analysing. The legal conformity, operational control of procedures, internal audits, management appraisals and policies must be assessed too. At the second stage the auditor also intends to determine associations between the normative obligations, guidelines, performance objectives, tasks, personnel skills, procedures, practices, and performance records. These objectives will also include evaluating possible areas of improvement in the management system.
For a Surveillance Audit the objectives of an auditor are to make certain that company’s management system has sustained to meet the requirements between audits. The objectives at this stage also includes confirming the performance of Internal Audits and Management Review to program, evaluate steps opted on nonconformities recognized during prior audits, assess company’s complaints handling, and evaluate the management system’s sustained efficacy concerning company’s objectives accomplishment. An ISO audit also includes other objectives after first stage that consists of analysing legal conformity, verifying operational control on continuous basis, and evaluating any amendments in the company since the prior audit.
Internal audits are conducted to access compliance to standards, defined processes and regulations as well as drive continuous improvement. For organisations certified to for example ISO 9001 the internal audit function is also a requirement of the standard. For those organisations the internal audits have to be impartial and based on risk. Often organisations choose to outsource their internal audit function with the benefits of the audits are being conducted by impartial auditors and increased capability of the audits. Organisations that outsource their internal audits often experience a reduced overall cost of the function.
As far as financial auditing is concerned, it is the process of checking the financial records of an organisation’s to decide if they are right and in compliance with the established accounting standards, guidelines, and rules. In this given scenario, the basic objective of auditing is to get an auditor’s view about the accuracy and accounts reliability of company’s financial position for the business purposes. The auditor has to examine the arithmetical correctness of the accounts books for this purpose and observe that whether the transactions recorded in the accounts books are accurate or inaccurate. This can be accomplished by several methods such as examining, comparing and inspecting. So, all of these efforts that are made by the auditor confirms him that “figures are facts”. In this case, the general objectives of the auditor are to get sound assurance about the overall financial statements that they are free from factual misstatement, whether caused by fraud or mistake, in this manner allowing the auditor to express a reasonable assessment on the fair representation of the financial statements, in each and every material respect, according to an appropriate financial reporting structure.
Experienced auditors have to lookout for an inclination to include biased views in their audit reports so they can facilitate leaders for making logical and objective decisions. This challenge gets more complicated for auditors who are experienced in ISO 9001:2008 auditing, with its stress on precautionary action. Moreover, ISO 9001:2015 no longer focuses on precautionary measures but focuses on creating risk-based opinion instead all over the management system. Additionally, when it comes to an ISO Audit, it simply means examination in basic terms to certify that the company is actually doing what it does say it is doing.
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