Orion Assessment Services has extensive experience performing remote audits for other standards. Therefore, we prepared this guideline for performing remote audits. This document provides guidance for planning and conducting effective remote reviews.
Remote audits are no different than being interviewed on-site with the auditor looking over your shoulder at their monitor as you show them your procedures, records, and workflow activities. Orion has been conducting remote reviews for years with other standards, so we are very experienced in this area and will ensure your audit experience continues to meet Orion high standards for service excellence.
Conducting Remote Audits - Guidance
Do you qualify for remote audits?
The qualifiers for remote reviews are:
- Records and procedures should be available on-line and available electronically.
- The internet connection must be stable with a minimum of 10 Mbps down and 1 up per person is recommended.
- A staff listing including emails and position must be available, so the auditor can select and send invitations to the auditee for the interviews.
- Note that Orion will confirm eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
What to Expect?
1. Remote Auditing Software
There are many excellent meeting platforms (MP’s) used for remote reviews, but the suggested ones are Zoom, GoTo Meeting ,or Microsoft Teams. With these platforms, the auditor will schedule your audit in advance, invite the required attendees to the opening meeting, remove some after the opening, invite others as you conduct the review. If your organization has any restrictions around the tool used, please let us know in advance.
The auditor will confirm the audit date with you and send out a calendar invitation with the remote audit details. They will also:
- Request a staff list so they can select the auditees (with names and emails). Note that this can also be shared during the audit. For an independent and unbiased review, the auditor must be able to select the auditees and evidence for review.
- Request the names, titles ,and emails of those that will be participating in the opening meeting so the auditor can provide calendar invitations. You may also be sent the Opening Meeting Attendees to complete.
- Send you the Audit Plan.
- They may also send you Dropbox / Google Drive or One Drive link to upload audit documentation in advance of the audit as described in the How to Prepare section.
a) Prior to starting
About 15 minutes, open all your documents, including the audit plan.
Join your remote session and ensure everything is working.
b) Opening Meeting
When all attendees are on-line, the auditor will conduct the opening meeting to explain the logistics for the audit and confirm the attendees.
After the opening meeting, the auditor will follow the audit plan and invite those being interviewed to join the session. Once they join, the auditor will direct them to share their screen by pressing the “share” screen button. At this point, the audit is conducted as usual ,and the auditee will take the auditor through their process, procedures ,and records (documented information) as requested.
c) Virtual Tours
A virtual tour may be requested. Probably the easiest way to do this is to use Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp on your mobile device. The tour should be identified on the audit plan.
d) Lunch and breaks
During breaks and lunch, you can discuss a time to meet back on-line, then mute your phone or disconnect and request to be re-invited at the designated time.
e) Closing Meeting
When the audit has been completed, the auditor will conduct the closing meeting. Those attending will be invited, and the meeting will take place in the same format and software used in the opening meeting. The auditor will share their screen and present the results of the audit. Meeting attendees will be confirmed.
f) Technical problems
Similar to most applications, on-line meetings can have connectivity issues. When planning for the audit, the auditor may request a test session in advance to ensure all will run smoothly during the audit.
How to Prepare?
To prepare for the audit, you must review the audit plan so you understand the areas being reviewed. Given this is a remote audit, the auditor will be reviewing all documentation on-line, so it is important that you have all documents available in a well-organized fashion.
Many firms find it easier to copy the audit documentation into Dropbox / Google Drive / One Drive – shared cloud drives in advance of the audit, but the audit documentation can be emailed, or screen shared. Typical documents to put in the folder are those listed in Appendix A. Note that you can also share documents on screen during the audit, but you will be requested to constantly scroll the document so the auditor can read it.
Please ensure all records and procedures have a well-defined naming convention so they can be easily retrieved. For example:
a) Management Review
Q1 2020 Management Review Minutes
Q2 2020 Management Review Minutes
b) Internal Audit
2020 Internal Audit Plan
2020 Audit Report – Production
2020 Audit Report – Purchasing
2020 Audit Report – Quoting and Contract Review
c) Corrective Action Reports
The auditor will guide you through the process and we are sure you will be well prepared and find this a smooth and effective audit