Today is “Audit Day.” The last Tuesday of every month is when I do an internal audit of my business (and life) to see if I am on track or not. It’s only me, so I can’t hire an external company to do the audit for me. Therefore, I have to rely on myself. It is something that I recommend that everyone does, regardless of how big their business is. Even if you don’t have your own business, I still think it’s a good idea to reassess everything in your personal life, at least once a month.
What is an Audit?
An audit is when you check your processes and documentation, and if able, make improvements that will increase your productivity. The California State Auditor site has a really good definition:
“An audit is an assessment of information for an organization, project, individual, or entity. Audits are conducted to provide insight on internal structure, pursue any misconduct or wrong, and/or determine the accuracy of information and propose solutions to problems identified.”
Creating an Audit Checklist
Checklists are always a great first step because you always feel a sense of accomplishment when you check off the little check boxes. Therefore, an audit checklist is a great way to go. You can save it to continue reusing every month. Being that it’s just me, I don’t have to really go into get everyone to sign on to the audit. This is one of the perks of being a solopreneur.
Carry Out the Internal Audit
After creating an audit checklist, I want to check each check box. This is your own business, so you have to be more tedious than having an external auditor do it for you. You have more invested than anyone else does, so try to not half a*s it.
For me, the major areas would be:
- Am I adhering to my business plan?
- Am I adhering to my marketing plan?
- How am I doing in the customer service arena?
- Are my financials in order? Am I tracking them correctly?
- Am I reaching my targets?
- What can I do to improve any of these areas?
You have to come up with your own areas that you would be auditing to make sure that you are on the right track.
Review Internal Audit
After performing the internal audit, I review it. I go through the things I am doing right and the things I am doing wrong. For the areas I know need improvement, I start to sketch out a plan to get it in “the things I am doing right” bucket.
How can I get guidance on how to create an audit?
For those wanting to start performing internal audits, but are not sure how to, here is a great guidebook: IT Compliance Institute (http://download.101com.com/pub/itci/Files/ITCi_ITACL-InfoSec_0612_finalweb.pdf)