Warren Miller’s 3 Tips for Stress Free Audits
We can’t think of anyone in any industry who looks forward to an audit. Yet, with the expertise of Warren Miller, the ITS Compliance Specialist and former PHMSA regulator, you can prepare for audits with confidence and alleviate the stress that many feel when receiving an audit notice.
Tip 1: Nail Down the Essentials
Preparing for a stress-free audit begins with nailing down the most important details so that you know how to focus your time:
- Who is inspecting?
- What do they need to see during the audit? Records, facilities, or procedures?
- Where are they inspecting?
- When is the inspection? Six months is an ideal amount of time to prepare.
Tip 2: Prepare by Asking Tough Questions
This is where you need to do the hard work when preparing for an audit. Here’s the good news: if you do the work now, it will save you a ton of time and stress.
Ask the tough questions an inspector may ask before the audit. You’ll know what you need to look at based on your operation and the focus of the inspector coming for the audit, but here are a few questions to consider:
- Where have there been issues in the past? Have they been resolved?
- Does your team know what the regulations say and require?
- Which members of your team should represent your company?
Tip 3: Review Your Records BEFORE the Audit
Have you kept your records in good order? Spot check ahead of time to make sure.
Provide only the records you are asked for. If you can’t find a record, ask for some time to research it. Be direct and concise about your recordkeeping process.
Answer questions without speculation. NEVER guess or assume when responding to a question.
Never let original records leave the office. Always make copies and keep a copy of each document given to an inspector during an inspection.
As you prepare for an audit, remember that an inspector’s job is “inspecting.” They have a responsibility to be thorough and accurate. Everyone benefits when you invest time into preparing for an audit.