As part of audit planning, auditors also need to plan for the audit logistics. This becomes important if this is an external audit, and particularly if this audit needs to be conducted in a different city or country. In this post, we will cover various aspects related to audit logistics. This post focuses on the logistics requirements of an external audit (second and third-party audits).
Audit logistics for an external audit include:
The first thing that needs to be planned for the audit is travel. The auditor should identify any special arrangements required, such as visas, permits, etc. If so, they need to ensure that these are obtained well in time.
In addition, the auditor needs to ensure that flight tickets have been booked, hotel stay has been arranged, and other things which may require advance preparation.
2) Safety and Security Considerations
This is one aspect where you need to be very careful. Auditors need to understand what they can and cannot do during their work. They should also know about local laws and regulations regarding safety and security concerns.
There could be a need to undergo safety orientation before the audit enters the premises. This is especially important for construction sites, where anyone visiting the area should undergo safety orientation. If the safety orientation is to be attended at the worksite, the auditor should keep a time margin for that as well.
The auditor should confirm the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) required at the worksite during the planning stage itself. Some of the necessary PPEs for a construction site are steel toe safety shoes, helmets, safety glasses, earplugs, etc.
If the auditor is planning to take a camera for the audit, it will be good to check beforehand with the auditee if any camera permit is needed.
Escorts are often required when conducting audits on sensitive locations (like government offices, factories, hospitals, banks, etc.) or if the audit location is too large with multiple facilities.
It is the auditee's responsibility to provide an escort to the audit team.
Translators are usually required when the auditor carries out an audit in a foreign country with a different language.
5) Confidentiality Agreements
The confidentiality agreement is another aspect of audit logistics. Sometimes, the auditor might need to sign a confidentiality agreement with the auditee. This is usually done when the auditor plans to use the confidential information provided by the auditee.
6) Right of Access
Sometimes the auditor needs to get permission from the property owner to be audited to enter the premises.
Audit logistics involve many complex issues. However, by following some simple steps mentioned above, it is possible to avoid any logistical problems and conduct an effective audit.