on January 02, 2024 Auditing and Assurance

What if there's more to audits than validating compliance?

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The word “audit” can bring up a lot of feelings. Fear, apprehension, uncertainty - we get it. No one wants a visit from the Bobs. Audits are a thorough examination, and just like you, auditors don’t know what they may uncover.

How auditors approach the process makes all the difference. Audits don’t have to be a doomsday scenario.


“What would you say… ya' do here?”

Think of audit like cleaning out your closet.

Yeah, we know there can be (figurative) skeletons in there, but the sooner you clean them out, the less they weigh on your mind.

You start with an initial assessment. Like opening the closet to assess the contents, an audit begins with a comprehensive examination of your business processes, and compliance measures. The stage is now set for cleanup.

Maybe while cleaning, you came across something you don’t use anymore, like a shirt you thought you’d like or wanted so like badly, but ultimately didn’t. Audits uncover outdated, non-compliant or redundant processes or practices within your business. This decluttering process allows you to remove them to make room for fresh strategies. Strategies you like, that work, and fit your business as it is today.

Audits, like a closet cleanup, help create a clean space. They verify that your records are accurate and complete, your processes are up-to-date, and your business adheres to relevant regulations.

Ever start tidying out a closet and find something that has you exclaim “I forgot I had this!” Similarly, audits can uncover hidden strengths or opportunities within your business. By identifying these practices, they can be replicated elsewhere in the business. Save time any money by using what you already have (and forgot about) rather than building new things. 

You might take this opportunity to reorganize your closet and put things back in an order that makes sense and eases your decision making. Audits can offer the same opportunity for your business. Action items can guide these improvements.

Once the closet is cleaned out you promise yourself, you’ll never let it get that disastrous again. However, you find that without a system, it happens again. Rather than doing an audit now and again, set up an assurance program. It’s easier to do small regular maintenance then larger infrequent maintenance.

Visit our audits and assurance page for more information. 


Here are a few tips to manage your (completely valid) fears when it comes to audits:

Don't: Fear the unknown.

Do: Approach audits with curiousity. Understand that audits are meant to enhance, not hinder, your business operations.

Don't: Treat auditors as enemies.

Do: View auditors as partners in your journey towards excellence. Auditors have seen what works for other businesses. Collaborate with them to leverage their expertise to benefit your business. 

Don't: Dread the audit process.

Do: Embrace audits as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Use the insights gained to guide strategic plans and updates.


It's time to reframe the narrative surrounding audits. Instead of seeing auditors as the boogeyman lurking in the shadows, consider us as your partners in building a stronger, more resilient business. By changing your perspective, we can transform the audit experience from a source of anxiety into a proactive and helpful process that contributes to the long-term success of your organization.

SPAN's approach is to collaborate with you, not interrogate you. And we promise we won’t send any Bobs your way.


SPAN Consulting

At SPAN Consulting, we help you find the most practical solutions to your biggest problems. Our consulting practice specializes in delivering simple, effective solutions for organizations seeking to improve regulatory compliance, reduce operational risk and increase organizational effectiveness. Our experience with management systems, program development and assurance has served many clients, ranging from high-risk organizations to industry associations to regulators. Our diverse background and experience help us bring unique perspective and insights to solving your specific challenges.