Conducting regular audits is vital for ensuring and demonstrating compliance with a range of quality standards and statutes.
Regular audits also help drive continuous improvement. They unearth weaknesses, which can then be addressed. In turn, this can help a business secure and maintain a competitive advantage.
The truth, though, is that traditional auditing is a labor-intensive, often dreaded activity. Also, it’s often conducted very much “to the side” of the rest of a business’s operations – and this limits its benefits.
The right auditing management software can help change this. It can simplify, centralize, and automate auditing processes. Here we outline some of the key features to look for in this type of software.
Templates and checklists
You should be able to create templates from previous audits and use them to simplify the process of constructing new audits.
Auditing software should also enable users to create new audit checklists, both before and during the auditing process.
The best auditing software makes it easy to plan and prepare an audit properly. For example, determine how easy it will be to set checklist questions and specify “pass” scores.
Software should also let you ensure that an audit is identified as completed only once all relevant criteria are met and tasks have been done.
As for any modern software, auditing software should feature an interface that’s intuitive and user-friendly.
This reduces or even eliminates the need for training, helps prevent errors, and enables a faster, smoother transition to using the software across a business.
Ideally, training and support should also be available from the software provider.
Don’t pay more than you should! Highly effective auditing management software is available on a subscription basis, at reasonable cost. It’s a good idea to shop around, comparing features, the support that’s offered, and prices.
Corrective and preventive action (CAPA) features
Many businesses struggle to act promptly and effectively on audit results. Look for software with CAPA features to help ensure that non-compliances and weak areas are properly addressed.
Typically, CAPA features should make it easy to initiate and track corrective measures. They should also ensure and document proper issue resolution.
Auditing software should provide audit closure and reporting options. Generated audit reports must enable analysis of audit results, including CAPA outcomes.
Ideally, also look for software that makes it easy to gather feedback on the audit process and its results.
Time flies and audit time can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Go with software that allows you to schedule one-off and recurring audits, and that provides automatic reminders.
Audit management software should enable users to attach supporting documentation to audits. This means everything related to an audit can be stored in a central, protected, digital location.
Cloud-based software has a number of advantages. It’s generally more affordable and it’s accessible from anywhere, 24/7.
A certain degree of automation is invaluable in preventing oversights, duplicated effort, and errors. It can also vastly reduce the administrative burden associated with the auditing process.
For example, issues that aren’t resolved in a timely fashion should automatically be escalated. There should also be automatic reminders for certain tasks during the process.
Affordable, modular audit management software from isoTracker
isoTracker offers modular, cloud-based quality management software, including affordable but highly effective audit management software.
isoTracker’s audit management software simplifies the process of configuring, scheduling and running audits. It also includes built-in CAPA features, ensuring proper, timely resolution of audit issues.
Using the audit management module, you can, for example:
- easily construct new audits or reuse existing audit templates
- schedule audits to run once or on a recurring basis
- download audit checklists as Excel spreadsheets in order to conduct audits offline
- attach supporting documents to audits
- access and review historical audit results to determine non-conformances and areas for improvement
- initiate and track corrective actions in response to audit results
- easily create audit reports for sharing with stakeholders and verifying compliance.
Our audit management module can stand alone, or it can be integrated with one or more of the other isoTracker quality management modules.