Generic audit of management systems: fundamentals

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Generic audit of management systems: fundamentals by Mind Map: Generic audit of management systems: fundamentals

1. In the realm of management systems, “generic” is the term commonly used to describe systems or associated frameworks that transcend industry or geographical boundaries. Such use of the term correlates with its prevalent meaning of “belonging to, or being a characteristic of, a group or class”.

1.1. Generic audits would provide a consistent, systematic, independent and objective service aimed at continuous improvement, to the various levels of the hierarchy, from top management to frontline personnel. In other words, this kind of audit would extend over many business dimensions.

1.2. Naturally, a generic audit would have to be flexible enough to accommodate diverse functional objectives, and yet sound enough to ensure consistency of the application and achievement of the common audit policy of an organization


2.1. Independent and documented system for obtaining and verifying audit evidence, objectively examining the evidence against audit criteria, and reporting the audit findings, while taking into account audit risk and materiality


3.1. 1. Audits indicate if adequate controls are in place

3.2. 2. Auditors are competen

3.3. 3. Audits are proficient, fact‐based, and performed professionally

3.4. 5 audit systems are managed for excellence

3.5. 4 audits result in information that meets auditee needs and allows problems to be corrected


4.1. Is to guide good auditing practice, especially in the management system area. While most auditors and their clients would agree with these principles, detailed practices still vary. One major concern is that some of the stated principles are still unknown or may be violated in practice. For instance, proper audit methods, such as statistical sampling techniques, may not be applied systematically in all audit disciplines


5.1. Audit plan preparation

5.2. working papers design

5.3. Audit risk assessment (evaluating the probability that the audit will result in an incorrect finding (ISO 14010, 1996))

5.4. Preparation of the required auditing methodologies, such as checklists, discovery/acceptance sampling methods and flowcharts

6. Two‐prong approach

6.1. Let us refer to it as a “two‐prong approach”, where the first prong involves the ongoing development of an integrated quality and environmental audit standard (ISO 19011) under the ISO auspices, and the second prong augments the first one by originating a “generic audit guideline

7. Format and content

7.1. The systems approach, however, should achieve significant improvements for the user and the generic auditing profession. The ISO format for such a document will be applied. The user is first introduced to the purpose, scope, normative references, and definitions applicable to the guideline

7.1.1. 1 general principles for auditing management systems The first part would list the fundamental principles of generic auditing, an example of which has been provided in the above discussion on auditing principles. It would also provide some guidance on the implementation of these principles

7.1.2. 2 systems approach to generic auditing The second part conceptualizes an audit as a system, illustrates the basic features of the generic audit system model, and discusses the management of different levels of audits, including individual generic audits, audit programs, and finally the audit management system

7.1.3. 3 quality assurance of generic audits The third part would address quality assurance of generic audits, including the establishment of specific quality assurance systems for auditing activities, reliability and maintainability of generic audits, and, probably the most important issue, qualifications and competence of auditors as the human resource element of the audit system


8.1. The generic audit of management systems, spanning quality, environmental, safety, ergonomic and other disciplines was illustrated using the systems approach. Existing audit definitions were compared, and a generic audit definition was adapted. Subsequently, audit principles from the quality, environmental and accounting disciplines were compiled, and a set of rules for a generic audit was illustrated. Common audit practices were also depicted, followed by an outline of a generic audit guideline. This guideline should act as an intermediary aid for management and auditors, as it links management systems with respective audits