Even for experienced auditors, conducting an audit remotely can be a challenge. In this article, which is part of our series of articles on remote audits, we share some important tips for a smooth audit.

This is part six of a seven-part article series on remote audits:

Although remote audits are rapidly gaining popularity, there is as yet no internationally recognized protocol or guidelines for conducting them. In our series of articles, we have discussed the various steps leading up to the audit. Today, we will look at the audit itself and formulate some generally applicable tips for a smooth remote audit.

  • During the opening session, it is important to define the rules and method of dialogue. The larger the group of participants, the more important this becomes.
  • Keep the number of simultaneous participants to a minimum and mute non-speaking participants.
  • If you have agreed to record a session (see Part 5), don't forget to start the recording.
  • Make sure participants introduce themselves before they speak.
  • Make sure everyone has the audit schedule and sticks to it.
  • If possible, have documents distributed in advance.
  • If you plan to broadcast screens, let people know in advance - otherwise, participants dial in by phone if necessary.

In audit, some information may not be released for remote audit. This is often the case with highly confidential information. The auditor must know how to react in such cases and be aware of the rules. For example, for some standards and regulations, it may be acceptable not to disclose certain documents, while for others, disclosure is mandatory and failure to disclose will result in noncompliance.

All remote audits must end with a closing discussion summarizing concerns, questions, findings and non-conformances.

Have you completed your remote audit? Great - inpart seven of this series, we'll look at follow-up.

Dr. Thijs Willaert

Dr. Thijs Willaert is Global Director Sustainability Services. In this role, he is responsible for the entire ESG service portfolio of DQS. His areas of interest include sustainable procurement, human rights due diligence and ESG audits.


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