How to Ensure a Smooth Audit – Perth Professional Auditor Coach Explains
Part 4 - Handling Conflicts
Taking part in an audit, whether it be as an auditee or an auditor can have its challenges. After all, the two parties have a very different role during an audit.
That said, understanding best practices and how to handle potential conflicts during an audit can result in a great outcome.
So, today we are looking at a number of tips auditors should consider when approaching an audit.
Firstly, the number one goal is to run a smooth audit. If an auditor has done their homework and are fully prepared, that is a great start. But still, that doesn’t guarantee things will always go as planned and potential conflict can occur.
Potential conflicts during an audit
One action that can cause a conflict is when an auditor is talking over the auditee, not allowing the auditee the time to fully explain what the auditor is asking of them.
At this stage, the auditee may start thinking that the auditor is not really showing any interest in what is said.
This may result in the auditee simply providing yes or no answers, wanting to get the audit over and done with as quickly as possible.
An auditor at times can also come across as arrogant when positioning themselves as knowing more than the auditee. As the auditee is the one working there, they would always know more, and it is crucial an auditor understands that.
Another scenario that may result in conflict is when an auditee is bullying the auditor. This could be due to the following reasons:
1 – The auditee in nervous and not sure how to answer certain questions presented by the auditor
2 – The auditee may be shy
3 – The auditee may have something to cover up
The three points above may result in an auditor having to terminate the audit, something that should be avoided at all costs. It is crucial the auditor stays engaged as much as possible for as long as possible.
What can be put in place
As hard as it may be at times, it is crucial that an auditor always remains calm and respectful, respecting the situation and the time of the auditees.
Something else an auditor should do is always check that the timing for the audit is right.
A strong recommendation for auditors would be the following:
If there’s any tension in the air or something feels a little off with the auditees attitude the auditor can ask them if they were told regarding the audit. If they just found out about it on the day that would explain why they are not the most welcoming.
At this stage, if possible, an auditor can always ask to simply walk around with the auditee, so they are able to get a feel of what they do. This way the auditee feels a lot more comfortable, and it is a great time for the auditor to ask questions.
Tips for Auditors
1 – Auditors should always be flexible with their audit plan as it is fairly common audits don’t go to plan.
2 – An auditor should be assertive. Not aggressive but always remember what the job is.
3 – An auditor should always take notes and communicate to the auditee what they are doing
Lastly, audits are combined from many factors so for any further tips and information feel free to reach out to Christine at Potential Unlocked.