How Process Auditing Can Make A Big Difference To Your Productivity

Process auditing is just one of the branches of a profession which is assuming increasing importance in today's financial climate. Most auditing is financial, and is carried out by external accounting firms for the purposes of demonstrating to the outside world that the company or public body is financially sound and is using its resources wisely. This type of auditing can also be carried out internally for the benefit of management, and this is often combined with process audits to create one comprehensive and definitive audit.

The essence of a process is that it is a series of actions which lead to a definite objective or outcome. Obviously, this model can encompass an enormous variety of business methods and business workings, so much so that the audits really need to be carried out by someone with a specialized knowledge of that particular process. It is unlikely that an accountant trained in financial auditing will be the right person for this job, although they could be if they have enough knowledge of the processes they would be auditing.

One area where process auditing has a harder time than financial auditing is in software development. The introduction of computer technology into auditing and accounting has been one of the great changes in recent years, the others being the increase in complexity of business structures and the tightening of the regulatory framework. Whereas building software for accounting is relatively easy because everything is standardized, process software is very different. Each individual process needs a different type of program, meaning that software will inevitably be more expensive. In many cases, dedicated software will need to be custom made.

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There are many large corporations where the results of one process depend on another, so it is important to make sure all related processes are assessed together. If a change is made in one process, it will affect to a degree all other processes which were dependent upon it. An overall analysis will be necessary to determine exactly where the problems or improvements occur. Sometimes, a thorough process audit analysis can lead to small improvements in individual processes, which lead to a very significant improvement when the effects are multiplied.

The vast majority of process auditing is carried out internally, by employees who thoroughly understand the systems which are being audited. If the audits are regular and the company large enough, you can even have dedicated employees who spend the majority of their working lives on them. You can, though, call in experts in a certain process from outside to give you guidance and ideas you may not think of yourself. It only takes a very small improvement in a process carried out many times to make a large difference in productivity. This is the great strength of process auditing.

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