Mind the Gap: How to Change Auditors without Impacting Compliance

Increasingly, organizations are realizing that a strategic compliance program increases operational efficiencies by replacing ad hoc and transactional audits with a more thoughtful approach. And as organizations get more serious about strategic compliance, they realize consolidation is a key component.

According to the Gartner Market Guide for Organization Security Certification Services published on May 26, 2020 by Brent Predovich, Katell Thielemann, and Sam Olyaei, “Consolidate audits when there is a need to obtain more than one certification or attestation, and leverage one certification provider.”

Consolidating audit service providers can help eliminate these redundancies, which reduce internal effort and external investment. But it can be a daunting decision to terminate a service provider, especially because the transition can be so uncertain. Fortunately, A-LIGN has developed its Audit Traverse Program (ATP) to give its clients the confidence they need to make the change. This three-step plan includes a diagnostic review, audit program transfer, and execution of the new program.

Step One – Diagnostic Review

Before you make the switch, A-LIGN begins with a comprehensive review of your business objectives to better understand the goal of your compliance program. The scope of your audit is defined by the location of your business, headcount, infrastructure, processes, and a few other factors. A-LIGN also works to determine the best time of year to conduct each audit to minimize its impact on your business – a timeline enables audits to be completed on-time and with the least disruption to your organization. Once this review is complete, A-LIGN will prepare a report with its observations and recommendations, such as improvements to the current control environment, or modifications to the audit timelines.

Step Two – Traverse

Once you’re ready to flip the switch, A-LIGN’s project management and audit teams will ensure its understanding of your business, both from its own review and your previous audit results, to deliver a smooth transition. Next, A-LIGN will help to migrate your data and evidence collected into A-SCEND, its compliance management platform. A-SCEND centralizes evidence collection, standardizes compliance requirements and consolidates audit processes to deliver a streamlined experience.

Step Three – Execution

In addition to its tech-enabled service, A-LIGN prides itself on its customer service. Many of our clients think of A-LIGN as a strategic partner because we provide schedules and plans designed to minimize their team’s workload and the potential interruption of audits. A-SCEND makes evidence collection easy, so that A-LIGN can quickly review and test it. A-LIGN also focuses on expediting report results, and identifying open items as soon as possible – typically within just four weeks of fieldwork. But even once we finish your audit, our work is not done – we will continue to discuss your feedback and lessons learned from the audit to ensure your continued success.

Changing Auditors for Strategic Compliance

A-LIGN can minimize the friction of changing auditors, so that your organization can realize the benefits of strategic compliance sooner. If you’re interested in learning more about strategic compliance, download our strategic compliance eBook. If you’re ready to make the switch and experience an improved audit program, contact A-LIGN today.