Table of contents
This resource is best for:
- Owners and Administrators
As managers, we are always looking for ways to streamline our processes, make our job easier, and keep our businesses safe. In this regard, one of the most critical investments we can make is in compliance audit software.
In this article, we will be discussing the different features of compliance audit software and how to choose the right one for your organization. There are a lot of different compliance audit software programs out there, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs.
By the end of this article, you will not only have a better understanding of compliance audit software, but you will also be able to make an informed decision about which program is right for you.
What Compliance Audit Software Is
Are you new to compliance and need to get caught up?
Compliance audit software is a tool used by compliance managers with the goal of centralizing information necessary to the compliance program. Before the external compliance audit, compliance managers use compliance audit software to create reports that identify areas of non-compliance and recommend corrective action plans.
Compliance management software is used to assess and monitor compliance with:
More generally, compliance software “integrates with an organization’s compliance risk management strategy.” Today many different types of compliance audit software are available on the market. Some common features include:
- the ability to track changes over time
- generate customizable reports
- integrate with other enterprise applications such as ERP systems
When choosing a compliance audit solution for your organization, it is important to consider your specific needs and requirements.
What Are the Benefits Of Compliance Audit Software?
Compliance audit software is a major time and money saver. If you’ve been managing compliance, you know that the audit process is complex and that external regulatory audits can prove to be major headaches.
Managing a business is already hard enough; to maintain regulatory compliance, extra time and effort are required. However, the very last thing you want is for the business to be fined or prevented from doing business due to compliance failures.
The solution, then, is to monitor your business processes and do so in the simplest way possible. That’s where compliance audit software comes in handy. Compliance audit software allows you to do several things:
- formalize and share strategic objectives necessary to ensure compliance
- list and distribute compliance tasks, roles, and responsibilities
- automate workflows to ensure responsivity and timely compliance
- create an internal supervision process where employee compliance is monitored
- assign tasks both to employees, management, and leadership
- create risk management processes for management and leadership
- make risk assessments based on data gathered
- centralize internal policies, external regulations, and industry standards
- conduct an internal audit whenever needed to verify compliance at any time
- create a healthy work culture that values compliance across the entire organization
- find the root causes of compliance failures and non-compliant processes
- get a better sense of what it takes to stay compliant and pass regular audits
Compliance audit software ultimately leads to more reliable compliance results, which can help organizations avoid potential penalties or other negative consequences associated with non-compliance.
Using compliance audit software also improves communication between different departments within an organization since all stakeholders will have visibility into the progress and findings of an audit in real-time.
What Should You Look for In Compliance Audit Software?
When looking for compliance audit software, keep these key features in mind. First, the software should be easy to use and understand for everyone in your company.
It needs a user-friendly interface that makes data input and report generation easy. The software also should be able to track multiple types of data so that you can get a comprehensive picture of your organization’s compliance status.
Overall, compliance audit software should increase your business’s security, decrease overall risks, and provide you with greater clarity. When you review compliance audit software solutions, ask yourself or the sales representative the following questions:
- How can this software help me clarify strategic objectives for the rest of the company?
- How can this software automate workflows? Which ones? How much time will we save?
- How can this software help us centralize and share regulatory standards with the rest of the team?
- How can this software help us simplify our risk assessment efforts?
- How can this software centralize our compliance requirements?
- How can this software help us in our audit preparation?
- How easy is it to conduct internal audits with the software?
- How will the software help us mitigate risks and which ones?
- How much time can our quality managers save using this software?
- What are the steps to conduct audits in the software?
- Which of our company’s compliance goals can we hope to achieve with the software?
- Which performance metrics can we improve using this software?
- Which compliance tasks will we shorten or eliminate using this software?
Finally, the software should include tools for creating action plans so that you can address any areas of non-compliance. By looking for these key features, you can ensure that you find the right compliance audit solution for your needs.
How To Choose the Right Compliance Audit Software For Your Business?
Multiple factors come into play when choosing the right compliance audit software for your business. Among others, you need to take into account:
- what type of business you have
- what size your business is
- what IT environment your business has
- what specific needs you have in terms of compliance
Additionally, there are many different features and options available on various compliance audit software platforms, so it’s important to understand which ones will work best for your company.
Here is the step-by-step process:
Step #1: Determine What Type Of Business You Have
The first step is understanding what kind of organization you operate. This includes understanding the types of regulations associated with your specific business classification. Your business can be either in the public or private sector, commercial or not-for-profit, and publicly or privately owned.
Different businesses have different regulations, and certain types of auditing software programs will only cater to specific types of businesses. Knowing this information upfront helps save time by allowing you to identify products more quickly during your research phase.
Step #2: Consider the Size Of Your Business
The next thing you’ll want to keep in mind is your company’s size. Smaller companies don’t require as robust an auditing system as a large one. For example, a big corporation will likely have more employees and locations, making the task of tracking data and compiling reports much more difficult.
In contrast, a smaller business with less staff may be able to better handle certain manual processes. Automated systems tend to work better for larger organizations because they can manage higher volumes of data with greater accuracy.
Step #3: Choose Software with Useful Features That Meet All Your Needs
Not all compliance audits are the same. Some might just be to review financial records, while others could be environmental safety checks, or external audits for industry standards and business operations.
Before making a final decision, make sure the compliance audit software you chose fits your business needs. Make sure it not only has all the features you need but also that you’re not overpaying for features your business won’t need.
How To Get the Most Out of Compliance Audit Software
When you choose compliance audit software, your job is not only to ensure compliance but also to help your company get the most value for its money.
Here are three tips on how to get the most out of your compliance audit software:
- Use it to create checklists of what needs to be done in order to comply with each regulation. This will ensure that nothing gets missed and that everyone responsible knows what they need to do.
- Stay aware of any changes that occur in the regulatory landscape. This way you can adapt your processes accordingly without falling behind. At Nabu Pro, we offer this service with our compliance audit software.
- Use reporting features to generate periodic reports on your company’s compliance status. These reports can be used internally for monitoring purposes or shared with clients or investors to show them that you take compliance seriously.
Overall, the best way to get the most out of your compliance audit software is to choose a product from a company that truly values customer success. Nabu Pro’s Service-with-a-Software philosophy is a great example of that. Our software comes with stellar customer service and done-with-you installation to take all the burden off your shoulders.
Another way to get the most out of your compliance audit software is to follow compliance audit best practices while using your software. Our team has prepared an article on this specific topic with five simple steps to follow.
What Are Common Features of Audit Software?
No two compliance audit software solutions are the same. However, most of them contain at least some of the following features.
Look for these features in the compliance audit software you choose as they may be relevant to your business and industry.
- Regulatory Database: An up-to-date database of regulations, laws, and standards relevant to a specific industry or organization.
- Policy Management: Ability to create, manage, and enforce compliance policies and procedures.
- Risk Assessment: Ability to assess and identify potential compliance risks and violations.
- Compliance Tracking: Ability to track and monitor compliance with regulations, laws, and standards, and to generate reports on compliance status.
- Report Generation: Ability to generate customized reports on compliance status and findings, including recommendations for remediation.
- Collaboration and Communication: Tools to support collaboration among compliance team members, stakeholders, and management, including task management, document sharing, and communication.
- Alerts & Notifications: Ability to receive alerts and notifications when potential compliance violations or risks are detected.
These features are a good baseline of what you should be looking for in compliance audit software.
10 Best Compliance Audit Software
To begin your search for compliance audit software, here are 10 options you may consider (other than Nabu Pro and in no particular order). Note that suitability depends on each organization and its specific requirements. In addition to consulting this list, conduct your own research.
- RSA Archer
- NAVEX Global
- Qualys Policy Compliance
If you’d like to explore the 5 best options, read this article.
Compliance Audit Solutions that Satisfy Auditors and Secure the Enterprise
Whichever solution you end up using, make sure it satisfies auditors and keeps the enterprise secure. To do so, a compliance audit solution should have the following characteristics:
- Robust security: The solution should have strong security measures in place to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.
- Automation: The solution should automate manual, repetitive tasks, such as data collection and analysis, to increase efficiency and reduce errors.
- Customizable: The solution should be customizable to meet the specific needs and requirements of the organization, including regulatory compliance requirements.
- Audit tracking: The solution should provide real-time visibility into the audit process, including the status of each audit task and the results of each test.
- Evidence management: The solution should provide a secure and organized method for storing and retrieving evidence, such as documents, screenshots, and other audit artifacts.
- Reporting and analytics: The solution should provide comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, including the ability to generate audit reports and trend analysis.
- Collaboration: The solution should allow for collaboration between auditors, management, and other stakeholders, to facilitate effective communication and decision-making.
- Scalability: The solution should be scalable to accommodate growth and changing needs and support multiple audits and locations.
Steps in the Audit Life Cycle
Remember, your compliance audit solution is a tool to help you go through the audit process faster and more effectively. Make sure your compliance audit software helps you facilitate these steps in the audit life cycle.
The steps of the audit life cycle typically include:
Step #1: Planning
Define the scope and objectives of the audit, identify the resources required, and determine the risks and areas of focus.
Step #2: Preparation
Gather relevant data and information, develop audit checklists and test procedures, and prepare the audit team.
Step #3: Fieldwork
Conduct site visits, gather evidence, and document findings.
Step #4: Analysis
Evaluate the evidence and data gathered, identify any issues or risks, and determine the level of compliance.
Step #5: Reporting
Prepare a written report that summarizes the findings, recommendations, and management’s responses.
Step #6: Follow-up
Monitor the implementation of recommendations and evaluate the effectiveness of corrective actions.
Step #7: Closeout
Document the final conclusions of the audit and ensure that the audit file is complete and properly stored.
(Note: The specific steps and their sequence may vary depending on the type of audit, the size and complexity of the organization, and the regulatory requirements.)
You know compliance audit software is important. But it is even more critical to find the right one. The right software will help you save time and money, while also ensuring that your company stays fully compliant.
With this guide, you now have a better idea of what to look for in a compliance audit software solution. We’ve provided a look at what compliance audit software is, how it can benefit your company, and some of the key features to look for when choosing a solution. We’ve also provided a list of features to look for as well as some options to consider. By now, you should be in a position to make an informed decision about which software package to buy.
If you would like to book a free demo of Nabu Pro, click here.