An audit lets you assess the effectiveness of an organization’s internal functions. The audit process involves examining accounting and financial records, assessing employee performance and many other tasks. Without proper preparation or a strategy, handling the audit process may become difficult.
In this post, we will look at how to audit a company using several diagram types or visual techniques that will help to simplify and accelerate your internal and external audit processes.
How to Audit a Company with the Help of Diagrams
Org Chart to Illustrate Job Roles and Functions
In both internal and external audit processes, organizational charts play the role of illustrating the relationships between employees and who is accountable for each function/ process.
It helps auditors assess whether the company has the necessary personnel with the skills to carry out the duties and to check if the work is delegated properly.
Org charts can also be helpful in putting together a competent audit team, highlighting their responsibilities or delegating tasks among them. It can be shared among them so they can refer to it whenever they want.
Mind Map to Identify Areas that Need Auditing
One of the initial steps of an audit process is identifying areas that might need auditing. These can be distinguished by referring audits done in the past.
Details you gather, areas you need to assess and everything else you need to be aware of when planning an audit can be neatly organized with a mind map. You can refer to this map even when you are planning your audit strategy.
Following is an example of such a map. You can edit it to customize it to your needs.
Knowledge Map to Organize the Needed Documents
An audit requires checking documents such as bank statements, organizational charts, committee minutes, previous audit reports etc. If you already have digital versions of them, you can create a knowledge map (a mind map that carries links to other documents, sites, resources etc.) which will allow you to store all necessary documents in one place.
When it’s time to refer to the documents, auditors can refer to the knowledge map. That way it’s easier for the audit team, whether they are from your company or from an outside one.
Flowchart to Outline the Audit Process
With the information gathered from the documents, the next step is to plan out how the audit will be conducted. A flowchart or process map can help you outline your entire audit strategy.
In the process of mapping out the strategy, you may also want to pay attention to the risks that will arise throughout. Come up with ways to avoid them as well.
Eg. Internal audit process flowchart
Eg. External audit process flowchart
Gantt Chart to Visualize the Timeframe
Once you decide on a timeframe for the audit, you need to assign tasks, schedule them and set due dates. A Gantt chart is the ideal tool for this. It helps you track the tasks to be completed and monitor the progression of each of them.
Turtle Diagram to Identify Input/Output of the Process
Turtle maps are a quality tool that is used to highlight different process characteristics such as inputs, outputs, criteria and other important information about organizational processes.
In an internal audit, the auditor can use a turtle diagram to assess the process stakeholders of the process, process owner, other dependent processes, skills of the personnel involved, and mechanisms and controls.
Use this turtle diagram template to audit your company processes.
Together with the turtle map, you can use process maps as well to visualize the key activities that make up processes and those who are responsible for them. In both internal and external audits, process maps can come in handy when auditing processes.
Get instantly editable process maps templates for your company audit process.
How Do You Carry Out Your Company Audit Process?
We’ve discussed useful visual techniques that can assist you in performing different audit process steps. And these are just a handful of techniques. If you have other tools that you use with your audit planning, share them with us in the comment section below.