I just came across two great articles on auditor failures and a comparison between repeat and recurring audit findings. Both these pieces dispel some common assumptions about auditing and inspecting in the field. While the articles do not propose anything revolutionary, they are a timely reminder of what it means to be a professional auditor. Largely boils down to: take your time, ask lots of questions and put the client first.
The comparison between repeat and recurring findings is particularly interesting. The goal with any audit is to solve the root of a problem, not simply patch things. Yet repeat findings and recurring findings are far too common. How can a company ensure that findings are closed off and root cause analysis is carried through and acted on? If root cause analysis is not properly done on the findings, the issue is likely to re-emerge in the future. Far too often, auditors come in and inspect and then hand off their report. Failure to follow-through on audit findings is a huge source of concern and cost.
At Nimonik, we are trying to build better tools like WikiChecklists to manage corrective actions and ensure they are closed out by responsible people. Part of the solution is a one-stop dashboard for all the findings at your company, with an ability to sort by facility, audit or person. We still have not got it figured out entirely, and we are always looking for feedback. If you have an interest in testing our system and letting us know how it might be improved we are all ears.