The word ‘audit’ is rarely a word that conjures up positive feelings or thoughts. Hearing you’ll be getting a tax audit, for example, is rarely good news.
That being said, with the case of an ISO (International Organization For Standards) audit for your business, things couldn’t be any more different.
What is an ISO audit? An ISO audit is simply an examination by a third party to check if your company’s products, service, risk management steps, quality control, and business activities truly are what you say they are.
Passing the ISO audit means that you will become ISO certified, which can be one of the best things that can ever happen to your company.
Reciprocity Labs really says it best: “ISO certification requires meeting compliance as well as audit standards. Being certified means that an external certification body has reviewed your ISMS and determined that it complies with all the needed requirements.”
Here are the five things to know about receiving an ISO Audit:
1 – Passing An Audit Gives You A Huge Marketing Advantage
Remember, passing an ISO audit means that you can become ISO certified. You can then advertise your certification in your marketing.
Since the International Organization for Standards is a globally recognized organization, becoming ISO certified puts your company it a very unique and highly reputable club. It basically screams to people and other companies that you consistently create high quality products and services.
2 – Your Employees Will Become More Motivated
Not only will outside people and companies think more highly of your company, but so will your employees. At the very least, they’ll feel very proud to work with an ISO certified company, and subsequently, they’ll also feel even more motivated than before to work hard every day.
3 – Your Operations Will Be More Efficient and Consistent
Passing an ISO audit means that your company is efficient and consistent in your operations, and becoming efficient and consistent
In other words, if you don’t believe that your company yet has decent quality control or is efficient in your operations, you won’t pass an ISO audit. The desire to pass that audit can be the motivation you need to improve right away.
4 – There Are Different Kinds of ISO Audits
Specifically, there are three separate kinds of audits.
The first type is a first party audit or self-audit. This is where either a consultancy firm or your own employees will go through the processes for your business to determine how efficient and consistent things are. You can’t become ISO certified with a first party audit, but it does provide an excellent indicator of where you are at.
The second type is a second party audit. This is an audit of your suppliers and is again conducted either by an independent consultancy firm or your own trained employees. Many company owners like to combine the first party and second party audits together.
Last but not least, the third party audit is where a third party certification auditor arrives to conduct an official audit of our business. Passing the third party audit means you’ll officially become ISO certified.
5 – You Need To Prepare For The Audit
This should be obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning. It doesn’t matter how consistent or efficient you believe your business is, because the third party audit is going to get down to the nitty gritty details and will most likely find things that you forgot.
This is why you need to extensively prepare for the audit in the upcoming weeks and months to ensure that you have excellent quality control, business operations are efficient, and that you have a rock solid risk management system in place.
Remember, since you can’t become ISO certified with the first or second party audits, one of the best ways to prepare for the third party audit (the audit that really counts) is to run those first two audits on yourself first.
This is simply the easiest way to locate inconsistencies in your business operations so you can take appropriate action to correct it, and you would be unwise to request the third party audit without running the first two audits first.
Receiving An ISO Audit
So long as your company is properly prepared to receive an ISO audit, you should be happy that the possibility of becoming ISO certified can truly be one of the best ways to improve your company’s efficiency, standing, and reputation.