eAuditing: A Matter of Context!

Presenter: Shauna Wilson, President, Amazon Consulting, Inc., Corvallis, OR, USA

Keywords: eAuditing, Virtual Audits, Remote Audits

Industry: Electronics, Manufacturing, Service

Level: Intermediate

ABSTRACT 

An eAudit is a systematic, independent, and documented process to obtain evidence through electronic means to determine the extent of conformity to the audit criteria. The potential for eAuditing methods is increasing due to technological advances, daily uses like FaceTiming friends, LinkedIn job searches and attending online classes. These activities become a gateway for applying online communication interactions. With eAuditing training and practice, we are less anxious and become more technological competent. A valid eAudit relies on the technology used and the auditor’s skill to facilitate a remote audit. Though registrars remain reluctant to use eAuditing methods, it does not mean companies should not proceed. In fact, an unsuspecting partner for using eAudits may be the newly released ISO 9001:2015 standard and the requirement to understand the context of the organization.

Clear contextual definitions provide a better illustration of how complex businesses have become in order to compete in a global market. A traditional onsite internal audit will not tell management the whole story for organizational performance. Instead, a hybrid audit model approach is necessary for organizations of this nature to completely verify internal and external issues, and ensure interested parties needs and requirements are met.

eAuditing is an efficient and effective tool for risk-based thinking, working with external providers to ensure process controls are in place, reviewing product related issues real time, and enhancing understanding among all interested parties. Companies that invest in eAuditing allow remote locations to learn from one another; gaining a better understanding of remote processes, and at times leverage and standardize common processes across distance locations.

In this session, I will examine eAuditing validation criteria, define the context of the organization, and conclude by reviewing other opportunities gained using eAuditing methods.                         

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