Essential Steps For Creating A Successful Corrective Action Audit Checklist

Receiving an audit report with adverse findings can be disappointing and even daunting for your team. Despite that, there is a silver lining — you’ve now uncovered clear insight into areas you can improve to make your organization stronger than ever. As you dive into your next steps to resolve audit findings, putting together a corrective action audit checklist is key in moving forward.

This guide will provide you with practical tips to consider as you create your plan. We’ve also included a corrective action plan template you can use as you brainstorm. So let’s dive into learning about why corrective action audit checklists are helpful and how you can get started.

A manager looks at a corrective action audit checklist on a desk.

Why Is A Corrective Action Audit Checklist Important?

This checklist is a comprehensive document outlining a corrective and preventative actions (CAPA) process to give your organization clear next steps to remediate audit findings. It can also be a helpful way to show auditors that all the necessary steps have been taken and that you’ve done a careful job remedying prior year audit findings.

When executed correctly, your Corrective Action Plan (CAP) checklist helps you:

  • Highlight and prioritize which issues require improvement.
  • Track your progress and important KPIs in resolving those areas.
  • Ensure your CAP is executed with a high level of quality and competence. 
  • Ensure all applicable regulatory standards have been implemented.
  • Document remediation of any compliance gaps in your organization.
  • Set up QC processes to prevent issues that previously resulted in audit findings.
  • Identify areas for process improvements.

4 Tips For Creating Your Corrective Action Plan Checklist

Uncovering ways you need to improve can put stress on your team. However, creating a plan to fix audit mistakes helps alleviate some of that pressure, improve your organization, and support good risk management practices. Here are some tips to consider as you start creating your roadmap.

1. Prioritize The Findings Before Tackling Them

Not everything uncovered in the internal audit is weighted equally. Use critical thinking and analysis to consider the impact of each finding, then categorize them by urgency and severity to ensure you’re tackling what needs to be resolved efficiently.

2. Create Clear Ownership & Responsibility

A lack of clarity in who is responsible for what will only add challenges for your team. So make sure that for each audit finding you designate who is responsible for owning and leading corrective action. 

At Centri, our experts recommend using a RACI chart to assign roles. This chart uses four categories:

  • Responsible: who executes the remediation work.
  • Accountable: who has the final say in decision making.
  • Consulted: whose opinions matter in the process.
  • Informed: who needs to be kept up to date.

After assigning roles, work as a team to set clear and realistic deadlines for each action item. Make sure as you do this, you’re accounting for resources and complexity.

3. Document Everything In Clear Terms

Using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) actions to address your findings is best. Additionally, it’s also important to document your plans and include an outline of those steps, individuals involved, and objectives in your checklist. 

Doing so will help you keep all stakeholders informed and make sure all relevant teams understand their responsibilities in correcting the audit findings. It will also make communication internally and with auditors a lot easier.

4. Assess & Report On Impact

This will come into play once you’ve worked through your corrective audit plan checklist, but it’s equally important. After implementing your plans, make sure you come together as a team to evaluate their effectiveness. 

You can do this through testing, engaging trusted experts, and follow-up auditing. Make sure to document the results in clear detail so you can share them with stakeholders and have them for future reference. 

A team meets to review their audit corrective action checklist around a table.

Corrective Action Plan Checklist Template

Ready to get started resolving your auditing problems? Use this helpful corrective action audit checklist template to begin.

Implementing Your Audit Corrective Action Plan: Final Takeaways

Your final checklist should touch on all areas of the audit findings and every aspect of fixing them. Take time to do a thorough investigation to ensure you understand the underlying factors that led to the areas of improvement. Also, consider what changes you can make that will help you take both corrective and preventive action to keep them from reoccurring.

Above all else, make sure you set yourself up for success by ensuring you have all the resources you need to effectively carry out these changes. Addressing findings can be a lot for your internal organization to handle. So don’t hesitate to invest in audit support help if you need it.

While your auditors can’t be involved in helping you remediate, Centri’s team can provide the expertise and resources you need to address findings. Our audit readiness experts are well-versed in helping a variety of companies in a variety of industries make needed changes. Plus, we understand what auditors are looking for and are up to date on all the latest regulations and compliance requirements that may impact your business.

This can be particularly helpful in alleviating the pressure and additional work placed on your team. Plus, it can open up access to fresh insights and perspectives.

Looking for more resources and support to help your organization form its corrective action plan? Reach out to our team to learn how we can help.

About Centri Business Consulting, LLC

Centri Business Consulting provides the highest quality advisory consulting services to its clients by being reliable and responsive to their needs. Centri provides companies with the expertise they need to meet their reporting demands. Centri specializes in financial reportinginternal controlstechnical accounting researchvaluationmergers & acquisitions, and tax, CFO and HR advisory services for companies of various sizes and industries. From complex technical accounting transactions to monthly financial reporting, our professionals can offer any organization the specialized expertise and multilayered skillsets to ensure the project is completed timely and accurately.

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