Remote Auditing is Building in Popularity across Asia
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
A new report, published by the New Zealand-China Food Protection Network, has revealed the results of a recent study into the use of remote auditing, and assessment during the Covid 19 pandemic.
The report, called Remote Auditing and Assessment during the COVID-19 Pandemic in New Zealand and China*, was designed to capture the learnings from firms, auditors, conformity assessment bodies and regulators, of audits and assessments, conducted during the first 18 months of COVID-19 pandemic.
The 60 respondents were based in either New Zealand, Australia or China - most operating on a global scale.
Amongst other findings, the report identified that:
"Technologies for remote audits were very rudimentary, such as MS Teams, ZOOM, WeChat; use of mobile phones (e.g., FaceTime) and use of cameras (e.g., portable, CCTV or use of sophisticated camera systems). The use of machine learning, AI, or other more sophisticated technological solutions was not reported".
The ability to use ‘rudimentary’ tools such as Zoom and mobile phones, makes remote audits easier to conduct with auditees who have less technical skills.
The QuantumLeap remote toolset has also been designed with this in mind. The auditor can simply send a link, by email, to the producer, and both can easily log straight into the audit, from anywhere in the world.
And without downloading any software.
The producers can contribute to the audit with evidence and data – such as photos, documents or comments, which the auditor can review from their log-in, as it is captured on the platform.
"Preparation for remote audits is key and determines the success of the audit. This includes communications between auditors and clients with regard to the focus of the audit, preparation for and testing of technologies (i.e. ZOOM) and sharing of documents and records".
Using Zoom and other communications technology to communicate with the client, resolves half of the challenges faced by remote auditors.
The other half is about accessing audits and related documentation, securely and easily, and by everyone in the team - wherever they are in the world.
Having a single, cloud-based platform, that offers different participants different, and secure views of each audit, solves the remaining remote audit challenges. You can easily have an Auditor in Egypt, a producer in Lebanon, and a reviewer in Italy.
"Some firms reported cost savings (largely due to cost savings for travel and accommodation). In contrast, other firms reported increased direct costs (i.e., higher charges from Conformity Assessment Bodies) and indirect cost (i.e., increased cost associated with time spend to prepare documents and further evidence such as video footage)".
In May 2021, a leading auditor – one of our customers – said that he had “… halved his carbon footprint during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was still getting effective audits.”
The number of kilometres he had driven for the year reduced by half, from 100,000 to 50,000, because of the lockdowns. That’s a huge saving.
The constraints that this pandemic has created are offering opportunities to change the way that we audit; to be able to save money, and substantially increase productivity, whilst retaining quality.
Some clever companies have spotted this trend, and are taking the opportunity to change their practices for the better – long term. Moving the scheme owners towards remote audits, by proving their effectiveness and value, will bring the industry into the 21st century, and allow auditors to reduce the risks associated with using spreadsheets, and use smart technology for auditing. Technology that they use every day in their personal lives.
"Firms in general preferred remote audits over on-site audits because it was less intrusive and the outcomes were the same".
The QuantumLeap platform has been designed to incorporate a mobile responsive remote audit toolset which is easy to use, and contributes towards reducing an auditor’s carbon footprint. We have partnered with progressive audit industry leaders to design, learn and improve how technology can boost the audit industry, and its auditors, into a new, technologically advanced yet simple future. And retain the critical quality that is expected of them.
To see the QuantumLeap platform in action, and discuss how big the benefits could be for you, Contact Us to find out more.
* Castka, P.; Zhao, X.; Bremer, P.; Mirosa, M. and Wood, L. (2021). Remote auditing and assessment during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand and China. Learnings from the food industry and guidance for the future. A report for New Zealand China Food Protection Network, Wellington, New Zealand.