To fulfill the purpose of a financial audit — to present an accurate accounting of the business transactions of a company — businesses tend to automate as many processes as they can.
Automating internal auditing processes improves quality and assures more accurate results for an auditing company. It also provides better documentation management, allows reports to be generated automatically, and saves time for auditors, who can then devote their time and energy to offering feedback and guidance to customers.
In this article, we will examine the most important features of audit management software that make auditors’ lives easier.
Features that automate auditing processes: an overview
Most of the following elements build a software solution that is easy to use, automates core processes, provides failure-free performance, and processes data securely.
Signs of a good audit software.
This is what a good audit management software solution should provide:
User-friendly interface. With a clear and easy-to-operate interface, the company doesn’t need to train employees to use the software properly. Also, there is a lower risk of failure when, for example, a new record is entered.
Planning tools. Planning is a crucial step in performing an audit; this process requires extra preparation and fully depends on the quality of the plan. Once you have prepared an adequate plan, the software indicates which tasks need to be accomplished and what has been completed.
Forms and templates. Using data from previous audits, users can effortlessly create new audits with the help of templates. Data forms ease the process of obtaining and reporting data.
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Corrective and Preventive Actions module. This module is dedicated to processing weak areas and managing non-compliance. CAPA features help to document the proper resolution of issues and to track corrective measures.
Reporting options. Auditing software should support audit closure and data reporting. The generated reports should contain audit results analysis and CAPA outcomes. The solution may also gather feedback on the audit process.
Cloud options. Generally, customers prefer cloud-based auditing software because of its affordability and 24/7 accessibility.
Now, let’s get to the features themselves and take a look at which of them auditors need the most, and what benefits they bring.
Essential Audit Tools
Here are the top 7 audit software features that businesses need the most.
Top 7 features of audit software.
Audit Checklist Templates
The goal of an auditing solution is to bring the entire auditing process into a single user-oriented platform. The checklist template module plays an important part in this process.
Depending on the company’s domain or industry, the checklist will differ drastically. Some companies need production safety audits; some need maintenance or compliance checks. The software solution you use should be adapted to your industry to provide you with the audit templates you really need for your company.
The audit checklist module greatly reduces paperwork and exempts auditors from doing routine activities and manual analysis of obtained data.
Audit checklist templates features.
Another set of desired parameters is:
- Individual assessments
- Certified data security
- Document export in standard formats
- Easy customization of checklists and templates
- No programming skills needed
Corrective action tracking tools
As mentioned earlier, Corrective and Preventive Actions are a crucial part of the auditing process.
For any business that operates in a regulatory environment, it is important to apply and track Corrective and Preventive Actions to stay compliant. Workers apply much effort to investigating, repairing, and tracking quality issues, and also find ways to prevent a recurrence.
Proper audit management software makes it a lot easier for company staff to keep their eye on every issue. The CAPA tool, when properly implemented, will offer ways to enhance product or service quality, increase fulfillment, and of course ensure compliance with the regulatory standards of the industry or country.
CAPA (Corrective and Preventive Actions) features.
What else do businesses get from CAPA tools?
- Management of audit findings
- Responsibility assignment and action item status display
- Incident management and systematic problem trends
- Change management
- Responsible sourcing
- Closure due dates tracking
- Automatic alerts via email notifications about items’ status
As a result, businesses get a more sustainable and safe workplace overall.
A visual format is always beneficial for auditors who have to work with data and watch progress and results.
The visual format is also helpful when presenting data to stakeholders and managers.
Custom dashboards in audit management solutions help solve all these issues with the help of:
- Pivot tables
- Trending data
- Other on-demand tables with analytical results
How custom dashboards healp to present data.
Taking into account that trending data is often the most important type of information that auditors need, dashboards have become a vital tool for understanding how a business is progressing over time.
Compliance management tools in audit solutions ensure that the business can operate in any location and still be compliant with all given requirements. This is often extremely important if a business is trying to corner a foreign market, begin conquering a new domain, and so on.
If you plan to engage a custom software development team, look for a financial software development company that has a global presence or at least has similar projects in its portfolio.
An experienced vendor can ensure that:
- You, as an auditor, will properly conduct your job no matter where you are located.
- You will comply with all required standards even if the business operates in multiple countries simultaneously.
- You will improve the compliance culture and develop a collaborative approach among stakeholders
Businesses get even more benefits from compliance management tools in their audit software:
- Make your audit compliant with multiple frameworks and regulations at once and avoid excess testing.
- Track audits and assessments via one software tool: audit readiness check, self-certifications, collaboration with regulators.
- Rank risks and identify which weaknesses are the most dangerous to the business.
Benefits of compliance management solutions.
Thus, audit solutions with compliance management tools help organizations safely meet industry standards and compliance requirements.
An audit process that lacks proper planning can lead to budget and deadline increases, delays in completing particular audit processes, and an overall increase to the cost of the audit.
Software that helps auditors plan their activities must include features such as:
- Preparation of audit and planning checklist
- Pre-audit budgeting
- Supervision of audit performance
Sometimes the number of audits that must be done is overwhelming and hard to control, and auditors have a point of view about how to prioritize them eventually, considering factors such as:
- Perceived risk
- Performance of past audits
- Regulations and other requirements
- Availability of resources
Audit planning features help auditors cope with all these parameters using configurable audit algorithms. With this feature, any auditor can create a comprehensive audit plan to be presented for review.
Audit planning software – important features.
What benefits does an audit planning software module bring?
- Auditors can identify important areas of the audit and devote extra attention to them more easily.
- Auditors identify and resolve any relevant issues daily with no extra effort.
- Auditors choose engagement team members using a data-wise approach, which results in more efficient engagement.
- Supervision of engagement team members and review of their work is easier and more efficient.
As mentioned earlier, eliminating paperwork and the human factor helps to reduce errors. Manual methods used for traditional audits sometimes led to results influenced by human error.
A robust software solution with document management features is your top choice if you’re looking to strengthen the validity of audit data. Here is what document management tools typically do:
Provide easier access to required documents. No more shuffling through file cabinets and email inboxes; all data is at hand. All documents can be transformed into one file format for better accessibility and searchability.
Increase security and ensure better regulatory compliance. Digital documents are stored more securely, and the system grants access to authorized users only.
Help update procedures promptly to comply with changed regulations. Industry regulations and requirements change more often than other types of regulations, and you definitely want your business to be able to comply quickly and with ease.
Track the workflow trail and provide auditors with detailed information about it. For example, a document management module will track what changes were made to the documents, who made them, and when.
Help employees improve their productivity. When employees perform audits, they need access to a certain set of documents, e.g. audit plans and checklists. With a document management solution, they don’t have to waste time searching for the right set of papers.
Document management benefits in audit software.
And, speaking of extra benefits, here are some additional advantages of document management:
- Automates tasks related to documents.
- Integrates with compliance management tools, dashboards, and other solution modules.
- Tracks audit activities automatically.
The better auditors understand the risks, the more efficient and precise the auditing process will be.
For risk assessment, auditors build a Risk Assessment Plan that describes the following:
- How to identify risks
- How to assess risks
- How they affect the organization’s strategic objectives
- How to avoid or at least mitigate detected risks
During the risk assessment process, auditors identify and assess the potential impact and likelihood of risks inside or outside the business. Then auditors develop controls that are adequate to reduce the risk or mitigate it, so that the risk is at a manageable level.
Risk assessment software features.
So what core features does good risk assessment software have?
- Identification of potential risks
- Detecting who or what could be harmed by these risks
- Analyzing risk likelihood and severity
- Detecting adequate measures to mitigate risks
- Documenting all findings
- Review assessment and re-do it if necessary
To Sum Up
Audit software is not limited to planning and documenting audits only. Proper audit software solutions developed by experienced software companies may assist auditors in any given activity, including:
- Creating and managing audit checklist templates
- Managing Corrective and Preventive Actions
- Building well-thought-out dashboards for adequate data display
- Managing compliance and regulatory standards
- Planning audits and collecting data for this process
- Managing documents and providing easier access to all documentation
- Performing risk assessment and helping to build adequate measures to mitigate risks
Also, customers expect audit software to bring some extra benefits, such as:
- User-friendly interface
- Clear forms and data templates
- Cloud accessibility
- Reporting options
Ask our software development team for a thoughtfully designed audit software solution.
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