Remote audits may have many benefits when it comes to efficiency, access to competence, increased reach and mitigating risks. But companies have to use it in the right context.
The main benefit of remote auditing is cost flexibility. Auditors will incur fewer costs through every remote audit they conduct, such as travel expenses and billable hours. On-site audits still hold value, although the companies have to conduct them less regularly and organize them much more carefully.
Remote audit benefits range from:
A. Improving the efficiency of the audit:
Reduced travel time
Availability of audit team with required competence, connecting and including them in the audit where needed.
- Enabling more ground, e.g. number of sites and geographies, to be included, thus increasing your insight and control.
Most data is accessible from anywhere (cloud storage), such as a cloud portal, so there is no need to waste time traveling to check the documentation that can be available by other means? This causes a significant reduction in costs and time spent on commuting to the audit location.
B. Enabling wider access to and sharing of competence:
Additional competence or auditor(s) can be added to any audit team in cost-efficient ways.
Increased access to the auditor(s) with the right competence.
Working from a home office environment, the audit team will feel more comfortable, since they will be able to use all the necessary tools, such as high-speed internet, monitors, printers, etc. This way, the productivity will be substantially increased during a remote audit.
C. Increase your reach & mitigate risk:
Avoiding travel to risky areas, making more sites accessible, and increasing control.
Maintain business continuity under severe conditions and situations.
Some locations to audit can be difficult to access for many reasons; maybe they are just in an inaccessible area, or special permits are needed to get in – even visas sometimes are required if audits are conducted internationally. With a remote audit, we avoid these difficulties.
Many auditors have realized remote working is not only possible but that it can add value and efficiency. Working remotely has forced auditors to be more proactive and to think 'outside of the box'.
The advantages are indisputable over the traditional audit, although there are still some obstacles to overcome. Many find remote audits very attractive since reductions in costs and resources are undeniable using virtual methodologies.
Also, remote audits are an alternative for a more effective and productive method of auditing, not only from the point of view of the audited company but to the audit team as well.