In a global environment, organizations are coming together to form strategic alliances and partnerships. These third-party collaborations force companies to redefine their business processes and audit them against some set of standards or requirements. This is where the risk of non-compliance creeps in. Inconsistencies in systems, controls, standards, and processes lead to potential compliance gaps. For instance, you might have a procedure for new vendors that requires them to upload an invoice before delivery. You might have also have confidentiality clauses with your vendors requiring you to store invoices for five years from the date of purchase. However, these rules aren’t foolproof, and once in a while some vendor subverts these policies and delivers you their invoice after one year instead of five years from date of purchase. In this scenario, a compliance audit comes handy as it verifies whether your organization has implemented the right policies or not.
Compliance audit services are the activities of evaluating an entity’s controls, procedures, and systems against some standards or set of rules to ensure they are compliant. The term “services” denotes that these audits are not just “audits.” They include a comprehensive set of procedures that helps organizations reduce their risk by ensuring they are compliant with various industry standards and rules. These compliance audits typically come in two variants: Internal compliance audit and external compliance audit. Internal compliance audit is when an organization audits itself as it understands its operations, controls, and systems. External compliance audit, on the other hand, is when an organization hires a third-party audit firm to conduct the audit.
There are a number of compliance standards that organizations adhere to. Following are the most common standards organizations need to comply with: - ISO 9001: This is the international standard for quality management systems. It sets the requirements for an organization’s quality management system and is applicable to any organization that provides goods or services. - ISO 20000: This is the international standard for service management systems. Organizations that provide services need to comply with this standard to ensure they don’t put their customers at risk. These organizations include telecom providers, IT services, and BPOs. - ISO 27001: This is the international standard for information security management systems. It’s applicable to any organization that stores, processes, or transmits sensitive information. - ISO 38001: This is the international standard for social responsibility. It imposes some social responsibility obligations on organizations that may not be required by other standards. - ISO 22301: This is the international standard for crisis management. It applies to any organization that is either required to have a crisis management plan or is in an industry that is likely to face a crisis.
As you can see, there are a number of industries that need to adhere to these standards. Following are some of the industries that need to comply with these standards and can outsource compliance audit to India. - Pharmaceutical and Healthcare: This industry is among the most regulated. It requires strong quality management systems, and its pharmaceutical and healthcare providers need to comply with the ISO 9001 standard. - Aviation and Aerospace: This industry requires its providers to comply with the ISO 9001 standard. Providers of maintenance, repair, and overhaul services in this industry also need to adhere to the ISO 20000 standard. - Banking and Financial Services: Providers of financial services in this industry need to comply with the ISO 9001 standard. They also need to comply with the ISO 20000 standard if they are telecom providers. - Retail: Providers of retail services in this industry need to comply with the ISO 9001 standard. - Mining: Mining services providers need to comply with ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 standards. - Healthcare and Pharma: Healthcare services providers need to comply with the ISO 9001 standard and pharmaceutical services providers need to comply with the ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and ISO 38001 standards. - Education: Education services providers need to comply with the ISO 9001 standard.
Compliance audit services are necessary for organizations that want to ensure they are compliant with industry norms. Compliance auditors help organizations adhere to their internal rules and standards. The best way to find the right ISO auditor is to outsource it to an ISO auditor in India who has experience in assessing and improving internal controls. They also have a better understanding of Indian standards and can help your organization adhere to them.