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Audit

  • Audit is the examination or inspection of various books of accounts by an auditor followed by physical checking of inventory to make sure that all departments are following documented system of recording transactions. It is done to ascertain the accuracy of financial statements provided by the organisation.
  • Audit can be done internally by employees or heads of a particular department and externally by an outside firm or an independent auditor. The idea is to check and verify the accounts by an independent authority to ensure that all books of accounts are done in a fair manner and there is no misrepresentation or fraud that is being conducted.
  • All the public listed firms have to get their accounts audited by an independent auditor before they declare their results for any quarter.
  • Who can perform an audit? In India, chartered accountants from ICAI or The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India can do independent audits of any organisation. CPA or Certified Public Accountant conducts audits in USA.
  • Steps of Auditing Process-

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      There are four main steps in the auditing process :-
    • The first one is to define the auditor’s role and the terms of engagement which is usually in the form of a letter which is duly signed by the client.
    • The second step is to plan the audit which would include details of deadlines and the departments the auditor would cover. Is it a single department or whole organisation which the auditor would be covering. The audit could last a day or even a week depending upon the nature of the audit.
    • The next important step is compiling the information from the audit. When an auditor audits the accounts or inspects key financial statements of a company, the findings are usually put out in a report or compiled in a systematic manner.
    • The last and most important element of an audit is reporting the result. The results are documented in the auditor’s report.

    Types Of Audits

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  • Scheduled Audits - FSSAI/FDA officials inform Food Business Operators (FBOs) in advance when the audit is to be done. The benefit is FBOs get sufficient time to prepare their documents well.
  • Unscheduled Audits - Surprise!!! FSSAI/FDA officials are at your doorstep to give you a shock. This creates hassle among FBOs because of lack of time to prepare documents relating to the audit process.
  • Raids - Complaints filed by consumers will give a reason to Food License officials to conduct an inspection of food quality of your products. If 5 people complaint regarding food quality of your particular product that will give rise to a raid. It is a nightmare for any manufacturer because it damages reputation badly. The brand name gets affected and it takes a long time to regain confidence.
  • Prepatation For Auditing

  • Infrastructure - Keep your work premises free from any defect. Keep it clean, free from leakages and pests. Storage should be enough to keep food products hygienically that preserves health.

  • License - Get right kind of License for your business. Keep a copy of it always at your work premises. The auditor will definitely look at your license. It should be updated.

  • Documentation - Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is the primary document of every FBO. It includes food safety plans as for how you are going to proceed. The auditor may ask for your annual turnover and other related documents that contain records of various tasks undergone by you during a year.

  • Process - Food manufacturing, packaging, dispatching and storing flows from a well-defined process. That process needs to be accurate. No delay in operations is the backbone of success.

  • Manpower - Your employees must be acquainted with food safety norms. It is the employees who are responsible for maintaining quality levels. An auditor may interrogate them on any process issue regarding their work area. Health check-up certificate of all employees has been made mandatory as per new laws.