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Audits

In the simplest terms an Audit is just an evaluation process. To prepare a good External Audit it must be objective, impartial, and independent. The audit process must be systematic and documented. The primary objective of any External Audit is to add credibility to compliance and operational statements made by the company.

Compliance
A 2nd and 3rd party audit involves an external auditor in an evidence gathering process that evaluates how well certain criteria are being met. Organizations are often faced with the need to implement a 2nd or 3rd party audit, but are limited by an increased demand on internal resources. Many of these organizations are choosing to outsource this process. When you outsource your external assessment needs to WatsonDavis, you get more than a findings report: you get a business partner dedicated to helping you ensure stronger, more transparent processes while saving you valuable time and money.
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A 2nd Party Audit occurs when an organization audits their suppliers, potential suppliers, or their contract manufacturers, to ascertain whether or not they can meet existing or proposed requirements. A Second-party assessment improves the strength of your supply chain and is often required in regulatory programs for full transparency of processes, quality, and reliability of contractors and suppliers. The audit process helps the organization to analyze current methods, adopt improved measures and avoid the risks of compliance issues by finding and correcting problems before they affect the customer or end user.

A 3rd Party Audit is an external objective assessment. It can be an audit of your organization, or an audit required for specific program compliance and participation. The role of the external auditor is to render an independent professional opinion based on generally accepted auditing standards. This type of assessment should not be a simple checklist. Good audits that are the most benefit to an organization take time and thought. They take knowledge of the setting, the type of business involved, and the potential risks posed to specific industry sectors. The summary report of a 3rd party audit should focus on documented observations, operational deficiencies and corrective action.

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Operational
An operational audit is a wide-ranging form of an internal audit. Operational audits focus on the appraisal of the effectiveness and efficiency of a division, activity or an operation within an organization in order to determine whether it meets management objectives and achieves other established criteria. An Operational audit is primarily designed to:
    Understand the responsibilities and risks faced by an organization,
    Identify opportunities for improvement,
    Provide senior management with a detailed understanding of operating processes in Production, Sales, Customer Operations and Marketing.
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If conducted regularly an operational audit can help eliminate the risk of encountering shortages and assist companies facing operational issues that could have been avoided through proper planning, and improve business productivity. The earlier an operational audit is instituted in a business entity, the better it is for the health of the business.

A quick outline of our operational audit goes like this:

    Preliminary Preparation – Introductory meeting to explain the process and gather background information.
    Field Survey – Involves meeting the key manager to be involved in the audit and confirming the components and major concerns to be addressed in the assessment.
    Development – Auditor develops objectives and key questions that will identify and assess control activities performed.
    Audit Application – This is the actual physical review of the targeted areas that includes on site examinations, interviews, and documentation.
    Reporting & Follow-up – The audit report will communicate both the conclusions of current operations and the recommendations for potential improvements. The full report is submitted with supporting facts, findings documents and opinions for management to make informed decisions.


To learn more about how WatsonDavis can help you meet your operational goals, contact us today.
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Physical Security
A Physical Security Audit can reveal vulnerabilities that will make you say to yourself, "WOW! I never thought of that!" Unrecognized physical security vulnerabilities are why more and more regulations are requiring regular Physical Security Audits. Performing security audits is a best practice that every business should follow. There is growing emphasis on locking down the security of facilities, critical infrastructure, and the need for compliance with security standards. A dual goal of prevention and protection must be the focus. The best planned security systems and security procedures lose their effectiveness if they are not frequently reviewed. Learn more about our approach...
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Some of the Areas of review include:
    Physical layout of buildings and surrounding perimeters
    Lighting
    Alarms – including fire, intrusion, tamper, motion
    Physical barriers – including fences, bollards, tire strips, gates
    Access points – doors, gates, windows, docks, elevators and stairwells
    Guards
    CCTV
    Access methods –locks, proximity cards/swipe cards, code or cipher locks and biometrics

For more information on this topic click here.

To see how WatsonDavis can help you review and maintain your physical security status contact us today.

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Procedural Security
Procedural security deals with the identification, modeling, establishment, and enforcement of security policies and processes. A gap in the execution of a the security procedure can result in a threat to the security objectives of an organization. Simply put, a procedural security analysis is the process of understanding the impact and effects that altering a course of actions can have on the outcome.
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To execute a procedural assessment involves several steps.
    Reviewing current models of procedures under evaluation
    Determine / Observe if models and processes are being followed
    Identify out-of-model actions and results
    Analyze results and define (procedural threat or possible improvement)
    Test by injecting action into process
    Determine success and change requirements

Procedural Security Assessments allow you to achieve two specific goals. First to understand the conditions under which a security goal is achieved or breached. Second, it provides information that can assist you in modifying or expanding existing procedures so security gaps can be fixed or avoided.

To learn more about WatsonDavis Security Services, contact us today.
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Inventory / VMI
If your company records its inventory as an asset, then an annual inventory audit is a must. Inventory methods and auditing procedures can vary greatly from one industry sector to the next. However, the primary reason auditors are used to observe the taking of physical inventory is to make sure the inventory reflected on the balance sheet actually exists and that the balance sheet includes all inventory owned by the company. This includes all raw materials, supplies, inventory in transit (depending on the Incoterm used, inventory the company may have on consignment with another business, and inventory stored off premises. To prepare for an inventory audit certain things must be tailored to the client.
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Our preparation includes a number of straight forward evaluations prior to the actual audit and can include:
    Pre-identifying all inventory locations
    Reviewing current inventory management procedures and shipping and receiving processes
    Touring the areas to be audited
    Arranging the stoppage for production or receiving
    Ability to enforce the "no movement" of inventory during the audit

The information supplied by an inventory audit is most useful when inventory counts are performed in a legitimate and uniform manner. Conclusions drawn from an inventory audit commonly influence future policy and decision making for a company.
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