People around the world are realizing the potential of contemporary technological breakthroughs not solely because they are interested in state-of-the-art gadgets and accomplishments, but because the ongoing situation has made them rethink their priorities. Namely, the last year’s Covid-19 has made the whole civilization adapt to modified operating conditions whether we talk about home or work environment. Although many have feared that the world would stop for a moment, that did not really happen, and the flow continued because we have had the means to achieve it while keeping our distance. Thus, conducting an audit is still possible, only in a new, more modern way. But is remote, or virtual auditing really effective and costless? We suggest you find the answer in the lines below.
What is an Audit?
If you would try to think of a single profession, industry, or service that does not require conducting an audit from time to time you would waste your time. The point of an audit should be to inspect or investigate particular process, or processes, related to a particular segment of either a certain activity or a matter of value such as a product or a natural good of peculiar characteristics. You can also audit individuals making sure they do what they should do in the way they should be doing it. In a nutshell, an audit is a type of official inspection. Depending on the purpose, audits might be internal, when organized within a company to examine internal procedures, or external, when a third-party subject checks the papers and inspects if everything meets the established criteria.
When we talk about remote, or virtual auditing, the goal of the action remains the same, but the performance conditions change completely. In essence, every audit conducted offsite is basically a remote one, but the means of performing this type of inspection can vary depending on the situation. Although the approach to establishing validity remains unchanged, the means represent the factor that makes the difference, and depending on the field of action, there are more and less effective applications.
Nowadays, a vast majority of official documentation is preserved in digital form. While certain documents still need to be kept on paper due to strict regulations and importance, other types of scripts are as valid on the screen as they are on the paper, which brings us to the conclusion that remote audit is ideal for this type of material, unless the audited party keeps their files on paper, which is nowadays a rarity. Even if you use an email to share particular files due to an audit, it would be considered virtual.
What is also an amazing way to obtain particular data by remote communication is screen sharing. By using this type of data sharing, it is perfectly valid to obtain anything you would initially do if you were checking the same data in person. Techniques available to realize this type of approach imply platforms such as Cloud, Google Drive, and others.
One thing is in common with all kinds of auditions and those are the forms that need to be filled for the process to be complete. Whether you organize a classic audit or you conduct a virtual one, certain data needs to be recorded, and in most cases excel spreadsheet templates are used for it.
So if you want to find out more about how they should look to meet certain standards you can find your answers at https://www.cours-gratuit.com/excel-templates/excel-spreadsheet-template-for-auditing
Sometimes it is difficult to conduct an audit without visiting the site, but even then, there are ways you can get in touch with persons or facilities of interest while you are offsite and still do a quality job. Namely, using Skype or Google Meet facilitates this type of virtual audit a lot. Nowadays, it is possible to establish a video connection with anyone who has a video camera on their mobile phone and internet access. This approach is particularly useful when a mere conversation over the phone and data sharing is not enough and insight into the ongoings on the field is needed.
Interviewing a person of interest is also an option, but opinions about this are divided. While some state that there is no difference between an interview in person and a video call when audit standards are in question, others try to avoid doing it as much as they can. The truth is that not everybody feels comfortable while communicating via alternative methods so the results may vary depending on the participants of the conversation.
While remote audit might be a perfect solution for some, there are situations where the feasibility of the remote approach is brought into question. Namely, the purpose of any audit is to obtain particular evidence that would speak for or against the verity of particular data, or the quality of an action. Thus, whenever that is either difficult or impossible to take out, the whole remoteness loses meaning. For example, a virtual audit is an ideal solution for a small office or even a corporation that keeps all the data in digital form, but it would be futile to apply the same strategy to a production site of a car factory. Surely, you could check the financial records of the same factory remotely, but an onsite audit is sometimes the only solution.
When it comes to expenses related to remote auditing the numbers speak for themselves. What you should take into consideration is the feasibility of particular audits, and when you compare the cost of travel expenses and wages you need to pay for on-field audits, it is reasonable that one should always opt for the remote option whenever it is available. On the other hand, if you aim for the audit to be as realistic as possible, you might need to invest in high-quality devices, such as cameras, that would enhance the experience and, therefore, provide more realistic material. One way or another, the initial investment should pay off in the future.
Hopefully, the aforementioned pieces of information will bring you closer to the idea of how effective remote auditing is and how costly it might be. Although it might seem futuristic for some, it is a less tiring process than standard auditing is. On the other hand, this particular approach is not generally applicable so the assessment of feasibility should be made before a particular profession is characterized as fertile soil for remote auditing or not.