Managing the Audit Function: Defining Customer Needs


Pratt, Roger C.   (1991, ASQC)   Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, WA

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9616    May 1991    pp. 855-859
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Article Abstract

Managing an audit function requires the audit manager to focus on the audit customer, understand the purpose of the audit, and recognize the customer's needs. This paper considers three major customers: (1) the auditee, (2) the regulation (or external client), and (3) the boss or company's top management.

Three methods to provide more "value-added" feedback to the auditee include:

  • (1) For projects that are research or data generation oriented, use technical experts in the fields being audited to perform data traceability and assess the effectiveness of the methods used to collect data;
  • (2) For operations or systems that do not produce data, use technical experts in the fields being audited to ensure compliance with requirements; and
  • (3) For individual organizations receiving verifications, work closely with other verification groups within the company and client verification groups to allow for maximum feedback with minimum interference to operations. Verification should ensure that all activities and operations are performed in the most scientifically sound and cost-effective manner.
Good lead auditors have highly developed personal and interpersonal skills , and they are capable of managing others with diverse skills and backgrounds. Audit teams should use technical experts in the fields being audited and ensure that team members represent all required disciplines. Audit managers must observe audits, interview auditees to determine satisfaction, and provide auditors with meaningful feedback.


Audits,Customer satisfaction (CS),Management,Quality audit

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