Practical Tips to Pre-Plan and Prepare for an Audit
There are a few essential things to consider when preparing for an audit or an administrative inspection. Not being prepared can leave you vulnerable to costly fines, violations, interruptions of business, and more frequent inspections.
Investing time and effort into pre-planning and preparing for an administrative inspection will help you avoid mistakes. While many businesses have preparations in place for inspections, it’s beneficial to review and identify mistakes before an inspector arrives on site.
The rules and regulations that govern your industry and organization can be complicated. As such, you might benefit from hiring a well-versed professional to complete an inspection for you.
A professional inspection and safety audit can uncover previously unrecognized hazards without the risk of incurring a citation. It allows you to understand more about what an administrative inspector looks for and how they will evaluate your facility.
Once you know more about the process, you can implement a regular plan of self-inspection to ensure your business remains in compliance with the law.
Prepare Your Facility
It’s important to view your facility through an inspector’s eyes and ensure that your facility is prepared at all times. Once you’ve established the routine of seeing your facility through this lens, it will help you avoid being caught unprepared by a surprise inspection.
There are several factors used to prioritize inspections and allocate enforcement resources. These factors include:
- Imminent danger
- Worker complaints
- Severe injuries and illness
- Toxic substances and materials
- Referrals from a state, local, or federal agency
- Targeted inspections
Programmed inspections include directives for local, national, and regional programs to address compliance in hazardous industries and specific workplace hazards.
Prepare Your Workforce
Your workforce should be prepared to follow certain protocols when an administrative inspector arrives. Pre-planning will help you train employees on what to do when an inspector arrives on site.
Employees who aren’t prepared for inspections should not be expected to answer questions or escort an inspector throughout your facility. You should train employees to politely decline to answer questions while also accommodating the inspection process.
If you haven’t designated a safety director or other manager to act as a company representative during an inspection, you should consider doing so now. The best time to think about and plan for an inspection is before it happens. It’s very beneficial to have a comprehensive safety and health management program in place that defines roles and responsibilities for your workforce.
Prepare Your Records
When preparing for an audit, ensure that all your transaction documents, including check books, purchases invoices, sales receipts, bank statements, tax returns, petty cash records and inventory records are in order. If your auditor is looking at how you manage your IT equipment, you’ll want to be sure you have all associated reports and certificates on hand. A professional ITAD partner will be able to supply you with weights, categories, counts and serial numbers of the equipment you recycled or securely sold through them.
State, local, and federal governments regularly conduct on-site inspections for all businesses and industries. While these inspections pose considerable challenges for many companies, carefully preparing for them can help your organization avoid mistakes.
Companies should regularly review their planned response to a potential, unannounced inspection. These inspections can be prompted by various factors and can lead to increased scrutiny of your business operations.
If you’re interested in learning more about how a partner like SEAM can make sure you’re prepared for an audit in South Dakota or North Dakota, contact SEAM today!