Internal audit is like a phobia to a number of businesses. There is nothing to worry about an internal audit when you know the right tricks. This article will help you explore some important aspects working behind the success of an internal audit.

Sometimes, businesses think that internal audits for ISO 20000 are no less than a nightmare. If you too are nurturing this misconception, immediately debunk it. Better, you should consider it as a useful and beneficial management tool.

If properly handled, internal audits can enable you to demonstrate an overview of your organization- how it meets the clients’ expectations and delivers quality IT services.

Before you build any assumption based on your prior concept about ISO IT Service Management Standard, it should be clear to you that internal audits are one of the checkboxes to be ticked before the real audit conducted by an independent certification body takes place.

Internal audit is a mandatory requirement for gaining ISO 20000 certification and other similar ISO certification. Besides, this is a business tool that helps an organization assess the current state of their IT Service Management System or ITSM System. However, to make sure that the internal audit is on the right track, you need to take care of a couple of things. Let’s look at some of the vital aspects that need your special attention:

• Recruiting and training the internal auditor

First, you must be aware of the fact that the ISO 20000 Standard prohibits all the auditors from auditing their own work. Hence, you need to look for one or more people who are not associated with the project. Next, you need to determine whether you will use your in-house resources belonging to other departments for this audit, or you will want to outsource professional internal audit services.

If you opt for in-house resources, they should be provided with proper auditing training. If you prefer outsourcing third parties for performing internal audit, then you should conduct research for making the final selection. Make sure the ISO premium consulting services you have chosen is worth the money you are spending on them.

• Official Announcement of the schedule

The standard needs a documented procedure for the internal audit with defined authorities and responsibilities. You should come up with a well-planned schedule for the audit. Afterward, the internal audit team must document the internal audit report and the nonconformities. You may find it little bureaucratic, however, in reality, it is useful for benchmarking your business as well.

• Preparation for the audit

From our childhood, we have been taught that practice makes us perfect. This is true even in the context of internal audit and quality assurance. In the preparation stage, your internal auditors should be made familiar with the major requirements of the Standard. They must be well aware of the scope of the ISMS system.

Moreover, the internal auditors must build a clear concept about the IT services offered by your organization along with the knowledge of organizational setup and the processes that support the services.

If needed, you should arrange several meetings with the internal auditors to make the motifs clear to them.

• Employee preparation

This can be a little difficult task. Generally, the employees consider the audit as a management tool to find the mistakes in the way an employee is performing his job. Let’s put it in a simple way, there are multiple methods that one could use to evaluate someone’s efficiency; well internal audit is not one of these methods. It should be presented to the employees as a measurement or improvement tool. Whenever an internal audit is breathing on your neck, take ample time to prepare your employees. Let them understand the significance of ISO 20000 certification.

• Engagement of top management

The success of an internal audit depends on the role played by the top management as well. A responsible role of the top management will positively influence the employees. Top management must supervise the internal audit from the perspective of potential improvement. They need to be actively involved with each step of the internal audit. Not only for internal audit, but the involvement of top management is also required for all the activities associated with ISO certification.

A Final Takeaway

Everyone associated with the ITSMS has some responsibilities for making the internal audit a successful one. As a business owner, you should not be seeing this as an overhead cost; instead, you should employ the right approach for planning the agenda for internal audit. Once the internal audit is done, you need to address the nonconformities that were found during the internal audit.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is an ISO consultant having expertise in ISO 20000 certification. He has an academic background of IT or corporate law. Perhaps, this is the reason behind his interest in IT service management. Apart from providing premium consulting services to help his clients implement ISO 20000 Standard, he generates informative blogs on ISO certification.