Computer-Assisted Auditing Techniques (CAAT)


by Kris Norlander, Aerospace – Regional Competency Center Manager

 

The Ever-Changing Auditing World

Auditing has never been easier and at the same time more complicated than in today’s world. The process itself can be tedious for both the auditor and the business being audited. The time, money, and resources used in traditional auditing methods are just a few of the reasons why auditing is now branching out into computer technologies. Computer Assisted Auditing Techniques, or CAAT, have been accredited in hopes of managing time and other resources much more efficiently for both the auditing company and the business that must be audited.

Why Use CAAT?

The traditional certification process has become lengthy, involving many visits from auditors and extensive meetings about perfecting systems to meet industry standards. This process can give both parties involved a headache from the beginning due to on-site time requirements that doesn’t always fit the way a company or their system is set up. Planning, processing, and adjusting are extremely drawn out when done traditionally, leading to the development of CAAT.

When a business chooses to get certified using Computer Assisted Auditing Techniques, the Certification Body (CB) spends less time on-site and more time relying on remote access through computers. This allows the CB to catch inefficiencies in processes and management systems earlier on and make adjustments quickly. The Internal Audit Institute goes on to explain this key element of CAAT that is most valuable to both the business and certification providers: “As auditors identify risk elements and develop software to detect errors, suspicious transactions, or unusual data patterns, it is often a relatively simple process to embed such tests or monitors into production systems. In these cases, auditors can then be informed of errors or changes in data patterns soon after they occur throughout the operating life of the system or monitor.” CAAT allows for faster error correction and higher levels of efficiency. With older techniques, corrections that were desperately needed were not discovered until the next time an auditor came by to visit. When those errors are not found and addressed early on they can cause longer lead times for certification.

The International Accreditation Forum, Inc. (IAF) provides guidance for the use of CAAT for accreditation certification. These new techniques will provide a more efficient way to audit and certify. IAF states that the new computer technologies for auditing are meant “to enhance audit effectiveness and efficiency, and to support and maintain the integrity of the audit process.”

Resource conservation is the main concern for most businesses being audited, but CAAT will also benefit businesses by creating more flexibility in audits and certifications through web and telephone conferencing. By allowing remote access to management systems, businesses can be audited and spend less time on the phone or in meetings with auditors. CAAT is considered to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to be audited without the hassle in today’s fast paced business world.

Why DEKRA?

Businesses looking for a certification service to fulfill their CAAT needs should look solely to DEKRA Certification, Inc. (DCI). DEKRA has been accredited for international management systems and operates in over 50 countries. DCI aims to more efficiently provide auditing services for greater productivity, reduced waste, and higher profits for companies within North America. DCI has the ability to provide services internationally with offices around the world. With various certification, auditing, training, and assessment services, DCI has the means and capabilities to audit and certify using new computer techniques when working alongside a business.

A list of DCI’s certification services can be found here.

Getting certified for an ISO can be an extensive process, but over 99% of our clients will recommend DCI to others. DEKRA has had incredible success in providing ISO clients with sustainable processes that reduce costs and enhance current market share. By switching your ISO certifications to DEKRA, businesses can be assured that their certifications are up to standard for their industry. Using CAAT, DEKRA eliminates multiple auditing visits when applying for certification. Through teleconferencing and web meetings, businesses will have a flexible schedule when it comes to getting ISO-specific certification.

When working with DEKRA, a business can expect to have their time utilized effectively while receiving a complete analysis of their management system. Businesses can also experience the efficiencies of CAAT at a lower cost than other certification providers through DCI.

Final Thoughts on CAAT

If a business is considering any certification or audit service, CAAT will be the best option. From saving time to reducing costs, these new techniques will serve both the auditor and business a lot of effort in the long run. Auditing and certification go hand in hand. By adopting the CAAT audit process, businesses have shorter certification times and eliminate risks and problems as they go along, rather than finding errors later on and increasing costs. Planning and preparing will be much easier when both parties can see instant progress and rapid success through the latest technology.

By using new techniques that are effective and easier to maintain, DERKA is creating a competitive advantage for businesses around the world. Shortening lead times on certification is the easiest way to get a product or service out to market and up to industry standards. The traditional ways of auditing and certification are becoming a way of the past. DCI has the ability to use CAAT and provide businesses that are adopting these techniques an advantage that most businesses are falling behind on. Success is of the utmost importance to every business in the world today. ISO certifications enhance market share, grow sustainably, and increase profits. They can be costly and hard to acquire, but with DCI and CAAT, businesses will no longer have to suffer through extensive auditing and certification processes. By choosing DERKA and CAAT, businesses will be ahead of the curve and find themselves having a competitive advantage over others in their industry.