A Systems Audit Will Analyze And Evaluate Your Implementation Of Documented Systems For All Of Your Critical Business Processes.
Your systems audit will also consider the important issue of employee compliance in applying these systems. You can have the best systems in the world, and have invested huge amounts of time and money developing them. All to be applied to your business processes. But if they are not used appropriately, all that investment will be wasted. Remember that everyone likes to do things their own way.
Therefore a way to ensure that employees follow the systems that you have developed is critical. However do not ignore improvement suggestions that will actually work, and that can be implemented inexpensively. When implemented, remember to change the system, and document the changes.
Let's touch on the reason for systems. Systems are a little like habits. Getting dressed has become a habit for most of us. Someone that has suffered a stroke may have lost this habit. Consider how long it takes him to get dressed. And he probably goes through the trial and error of putting his shoes on before his pants. Sometimes he forgets articles of clothing. A systems audit would show that his systems are not functioning properly. So it is with your business processes. You want to avoid trial and error.
You developed them so you and others would have a proven way of doing something that was effective, and worked well every time. You documented them so there was a record of what you had determined worked best. You wanted employees to use the best practice. You wanted new employees to have a reference for training on the process. You wanted something to use as a reference to monitor the performance of your employees dealing with your important business processes.
In doing a systems audit, you want to be sure that you have developed and documented systematic ways of carrying out critical business processes. You also need to verify that each effected employee has been trained in using the system, and has access to the documentation. You also need to ensure that the effected employees are following these business systems as they were designed.
As part of your systems audit, you need to examine your reward and punishment method for encouraging compliance with your various business systems. First of all do you have any formal method for doing this? If you do, what is it? If not you might wish to consider including it as part of your employee appraisal process. Part of acceptable performance or better, could require demonstrated compliance in using the relevant business systems. And related to that is pay raises.
The specific types of business processes and related formalized systems is covered elsewhere. They all deal with specific functional areas of your business. Specific audits have been proposed to determine the presence and scope in each functional area. Also remember that productive application of these systems will have an impact on business profitability. Demonstrating that the appropriate systems are in place is one step, and it is an important step done.
However, the key function of the systems audit is to go one step further. Not only are they in place, and documented. But they are also followed in accordance with their original purpose. That is why such emphasis was placed on following the formalized systems.
With the right formalized systems in place, and documented, neither you nor a prospective buyer will ever be stuck because a key employee leaves. Sure there will be a period of dislocation as a new employee is trained or learns from the manual. But with documented systems to follow, the learning period will be short. Particularly when compared to other less desirable alternatives.
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