The word “audit” is scary. Cue sweaty palms, racing minds, and a general feeling of unease and panic. However, when we are talking about an internal audit, the ball is in your court and the benefits greatly outweigh those pesky panicked feelings.
Internal audits aim to assess:
Instead of fearing the audit, embrace it. It provides crucial insight into your business’ overall effectiveness and is designed to support improvement.
Interestingly, a terrifying number of small business owners believe that their size somehow protects them. This false sense of security is exactly what sets them up as perfect targets for security breach.
Truth is, size does not matter. Every business, small and big, should be aware of their potential risk factors in order to best be prepared to fend them off.
This is the possible number one benefit of an internal audit: protection and proper planning. Whether it be risk-avoidance or operational, an audit is like exploratory surgery- open it up, take a close look at all the working parts, then assess, identify, and solve any problems.
An internal audit is also a great way to perform a quality control check of sorts. Taking a closer look at each stage of your process (whether it be recruitment and hiring, customer service, production, etc.) allows for small tweaks to ensure at each stage, performance is at its best, improving overall quality.
It is also a great time to look back at your business plan. Are you hitting your goals? Are you sticking to your mission? Have you altered, deviated from, or completely strayed from the plan? Take the opportunity to realign.
Assessing your internal controls every once in a while is just like an oil change for your car. It is necessary, though you can push it pretty far before the eventual breakdown. Steer clear of the breakdown with an internal audit.
In short, an internal audit:
- Protects assets, reduces risk of fraud
- Improves efficiency
- Secure financial integrity
- Ensures compliance
- Establishes procedures for future monitoring.
BLURB: Consider Value over Volume as a Time Management Skill.
So you start the day with a to-do list. Items are removed, as others are constantly tacked on. Seeing your list divided as “value” or “volume” can help rank levels of importance and assign an order in which things should be accomplished. Give yourself the goal of accomplishing one item from “value” for every two “volumes”. At the end of day, you should see a much shorter list under value. If something remains on your volume list for days on end, constantly being bumped, perhaps it’s time to delegate.