Published 1 Sep 2022
An internal audit is the process of evaluating the current performance of a company and providing recommendations to streamline corporate governance. It is also conducted to determine process gaps and whether or not the organization meets industry standards and regulations. Periodically conducted by the audit department or a cross-functional team, internal audits are designed to optimize business operations. Auditing the internal controls of a company helps mitigate risks across the enterprise and identify areas of improvement to reach set goals or objectives.
Downloaded more than 10,000 times, this internal audit checklist is designed based on the international standard that sets a framework for Quality Management System (QMS). Organizations engaged in manufacturing, service, and other industries can use this template to conduct internal audits and assess readiness for third party audit for ISO 9001:2015 certification. Using iAuditor, you can:
- Evaluate if the Context of the organization, Planning, Operation, Quality control, and Product improvement complies with the latest quality management system standards.
- Identify your opportunities for improvement and your customer’s needs from a QMS perspective.
- Submit internal audit reports and use the information collected to formulate continuous process improvements.
- Share reports by exporting as PDF, Word, Excel or Web Link.
This article will briefly discuss the following:
- what is an internal audit checklist;
- how to conduct the audits;
- internal audit checklist contents;
- powerful tool for conducting the audits;
- FAQs about internal audits; and
- free internal audit checklists you can download and use.
An internal audit checklist is a tool used by internal auditors in manufacturing companies, the service sector, and multiple other industries to assess if an organization’s current performance and processes are consistently aligned with standards set by the company and the industry it belongs to. It is also used to determine if a company is operating in compliance with regulations. Meeting industry standards help facilitate the ease of doing business with other institutions, while complying with regulations help ensure continued business operation.
Conducting internal audits involves preparation and engaging the right people. Below is a step-by-step guide on conducting internal audits:
- Know which standards are being followed by the organization, its current processes, and company goals. Determine what will be audited and who will be involved in the internal audit. Create the audit checklist form to be used for the internal audit based on this information.
- Assign the auditing task and set the schedule for the internal audit. Use an audit software like iAuditor by SafetyCulture to help ensure that sufficient and crucial data are collected during the audit.
- Collect the reports and analyze the data gathered to determine the current status of the company.
- Prepare a plan of action on what needs to be done in order to address any concerns discovered during the audit. Use the information from the audit reports to formulate training programs for employee competencies or improvement of processes.
- Implement changes and continue conducting regular audits to track progress. Ensure that the audit checklist is up-to-date with changes in the organization or with industry standards to help facilitate continuous process improvement
Internal audit checklists can vary depending on the intended goal of the audit. This summarized sample content highlights the sections of an internal audit checklist based on the ISO 9001:2015 standard which is designed to assess the Quality Management System (QMS) of an organization.
- Context of the Organization
This section aims to know if the organization has identified internal and external issues that impacts the organization and if performance indicators were established.
The leadership section intends to know if the organizational leadership’s roles and responsibilities have been identified for QMS.
This section checks if risks and opportunities are identified and the organization has planned actions for them.
The support section aims to establish if the organization provided the resources (people, environment, and infrastructure) that will help achieve the intended QMS to be implemented.
The operation section intends to confirm if the organization has planned, implemented, and maintained processes that aims to meet the requirements for products and services.
- Performance Evaluation
This section aims to determine if the organization identified monitoring and performance evaluation protocols that ensure valid results.
Important for ISO standards, this section intends to establish if the organization has continuous process improvement in place.
Another crucial feature of an internal audit and its checklist is that it is not static, it needs to adapt to changes and make sure that it aims to consistently align the organization with current standards.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture, is a powerful auditing app that internal auditors can use on Apple or Android devices to ensure that internal audits are consistently conducted on time and that all steps are taken to capture crucial information that will be analyzed. With iAuditor, you can:
- Create templates that fits the need of the organization in order to meet its goals and standards
- Schedule and delegate audits to the auditing team and monitor results
- Capture data using mobile devices and include photos for added context on observations
- Have the option to assign corrective actions for any urgent issues
- Automatically generate audit reports in cloud storage for secure recordkeeping
- Forget about Excel Spreadsheets
- Use iAuditor Analytics to deep dive on the data collected and formulate process improvements. Preview a sample internal audit pdf here.
- Have access to free internal audit checklists you can download and use right away!
FAQs About Internal Audit
Whether an independent, third-party, internal auditor from an auditing consultancy firm, or an employee tasked to conduct internal audits, an internal auditor is someone who, ideally, should be both an expert in the field being audited and trained to be impartial in conducting audit inspections. Internal audits should specifically inspect measurable and observable variables that impact or represent the level of quality, safety, and security of a company and its offered products and services.
Audit protocol is a set of guidelines that assist entities in conducting different types of audits for their business. It specifies the quality and degree of review for each audit and includes a list of requirements that must be met, observed, and evaluated in the audits.
Follow these steps to write a comprehensive audit report:
- Emphasize key findings to highlight audit relevance.
- Draw attention to details by using visuals and figures.
- End findings summary on a positive note, if possible.
- Include the 5C’s of observation in every mentioned issue—Criteria, Condition, Cause, Consequence, and Corrective Action Plans.
- Conduct quality assurance reviews.
Internal Audit Checklists
An internal audit checklist is used by internal auditors of a company to help ensure their standardization and performance of internal auditing protocols. Use this checklist to:
- Adhere to general internal audit procedures which is made up of the 4 basic stages—preparation, execution, reporting, and monitoring.
- Keep track of team progress by marking each step as “Done”, “In Progress”, “Not Done”, or “N/A”, accordingly.
- Create actions and notes for tasks that have yet to be completed
- Assign tasks to the right personnel and attach photos if necessary
- Customize this checklist further to fulfill specific business requirements
Use this internal audit checklist to assess if a company’s manufacturing facility aligns with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This checklist is divided into 9 sections and applies scoring which will give you insight into how the company is performing. This specific checklist allows you to:
- Conduct GMP internal audits with this checklist using iAuditor on your mobile or tablet
- Assess buildings and facilities, materials management, quality control systems, and manufacturing processes
- Evaluate packaging and identification labeling, quality management systems, personnel and training, and purchasing and customer service
- Capture photo evidence of non-compliance directly during inspections
- Assign corrective action items for immediate resolution of urgent issues found during internal audits.
All iAuditor internal audit checklist templates can be edited to fit the needs of your organization.
Use this internal audit checklist to assess the current state of the organization’s Information Security Management System based on the international standard for ISMS. This checklist can also help chief information officers work towards ISO 27001 certification by discovering process gaps, reviewing current ISMS, and implementing improvements in the organization.