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‘Audit’ is a word which sounds familiar to most of working professionals. You may not be aware of the process (unless you are directly involved in it), but you may feel its importance.

You need not wait for formal audit to be conducted in your organization. The basic concepts are simple and can be effectively employed by anyone for his area of work. You can conduct audit of your own work as an individual or work of your department / work unit if you are the in-charge.

Given below are the simple steps to conduct this exercise -

1. Choose auditor –The best auditor for your work is none other than you. If you are not comfortable with the idea, you can request one of your friends, relatives or co workers to act as auditor.
2. Time for audit- Choose a time when you are free from your routine duties and worries. It is better to opt for a holiday.
3. Choose audit period- select a period of activities for which you will perform audit. It may be one week, one month, one year or more as per your convenience.
4. Documents for audit –List all the documents which are prepared or controlled by you. Also list the documents where your duties are defined or instructions are given to you for your job. Take out and display in order all these documents of audit period.
5. Audit- If audit is being done by someone who is not conversant with the work or documents make him understand first. Now the auditor has to check all entries in the documents with a critical eye to see -
The conformity with the instructions/rules available
• Mathematical mistakes
• Incomplete or not properly linked entries

6. Audit report
- Prepare the findings of auditor category wise. The discrepancies should be highlighted. An analysis of probable cause of discrepancies should be done and remedial actions should be suggested so that these mistakes can be avoided in future.
7. Using the audit report- Audit is not a mere fault finding exercise. It is a periodic check to assess the working and plug the loopholes if available in the system to keep it healthy. The finding of audit should be honored and appropriate steps should be taken.

Does that sound too theoretical?
Well, this technique is used at many places and known as internal audit or pre audit check.

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