Compliance is nuanced, complex and time-consuming. All too often, we find ourselves scrambling to meet audit deadlines. Getting different departments to cooperate, trying to manage stacks of paper, and shaving off enough time – it’s never easy.
Thankfully, technology has successfully defeated these burdens for many. A quick online search will reveal plenty of digital options for reliably conducting internal audits. But how can we find the tool that’s right for us?
Great question. In this post, we’ve shortlisted five excellent solutions to shorten your search. We also confront the issue of customisability, an important quality if you want your tool to work long-term.
If you’d like to skip to the shortlist, click here. Otherwise, let’s get stuck in.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Niche auditing companies will usually benefit from highly specialised solutions. But what if you want to conduct internal audits or expand your specialisation across departments?
You might want to perform safety, financial, inventory, and IT security audits. Equipping one special software for each will tank your software budget fast. There’s a lot to consider here, but one thing is sure – you’ve got to think ahead.
Jumping on every new and nifty tool can quickly lead to integration issues and workflow hurdles. Lengthy migrations aren’t pleasant, either.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to draft a complete picture of all your software needs. Break them into individual functions or process steps, and look for a pattern.
You may notice that mobile data capturing, simple document management and easily customisable forms mould the basis of your requirements. Now you have a workable starting point.
The ideal solution should lock into your present and future auditing needs – whatever they are.
Can Customisability Bridge The Gap?
For many companies, customisability is the unsung hero of successful digitalisation.
Our operations are constantly evolving. A warehouse upgrade might introduce new safety risks, for example. Regulatory changes, business expansion, and competitor behaviour often require us to forgo our current ways for better ones.
Flexible Auditing Software gives us a better chance at staying agile and ready for the changes to come.
Getting comfortable with a flexible tool will initially take some time. Not nearly as much as the training required to use many different tools, may I add. If it works well, you’ll also shave off costs and sidestep integration issues.
Customisable and specialised tools aren’t mutually exclusive either. Some bespoke solutions are impressively flexible. The onus falls on you to figure out in which areas customisability is necessary, and where it’s a ‘nice-to-have’.
Essential Things To Consider Before You Subscribe
Before signing up, gather as much information as possible. Investigate online reviews, talk to the provider, and consult their customers – if possible. Here are three great questions to answer before taking the leap.
1. What Are Your Integration Requirements?
You probably already have some form of digital infrastructure. Every additional solution should hook into your existing tech stack without much effort.
Schedule a call with the solution provider and ask about their integration protocols.
Here are some ideas:
- What pre-built connectors do they have?
- Do they offer an API, and how secure is it?
- Does the tool support webhooks for real-time alerts?
- How is the data pushed and pulled from one platform to another, and what data formats are supported?
- Does data synchronisation occur via real-time or batch integration?
If the subject matter falls outside the scope of your expertise, ask the provider about the practical implications of every element.
2. What Features Are Non-negotiable?
Earlier, we mentioned you should have a list of all the most essential features in mind.
To help you refine that list, consider the following:
- What features are the most critical to attaining our auditing goals?
- What makes our auditing process unique?
- What regulations are relevant to our process?
- What auditing challenges do we currently face, and what features can help us overcome them?
- What user roles and permissions do we require?
- How sensitive is our data, and what protocols do we need to protect it adequately?
Pinning down all the features you’ll benefit from can be tricky. Consulting a provider can illuminate your blindspots, so share your process with them and collaborate to discover new solutions.
3. What Level Of Support Will You Need?
Unfortunately, many software companies (especially the big ones), leave you hopping from one agent to the next, or worse – hanging.
Some even charge you for it (yup, we don’t get it either.) So other than accessible and responsive support, what should you look for?
- Various support channels (or one that suits you the best.)
- Access to a comprehensive knowledge base for troubleshooting problems yourself first.
- Responsiveness to customer feedback.
- Competent onboarding & platform training (without additional costs!)
If the solution fulfils your needs, integrates seamlessly with your ecosystem and comes with world-class support… you’re in for success.
Five Underrated Auditing Software Solutions
Now, on to our hand-selected contenders of flexible audit management, in no particular order. To jump to our comparison overview table, click here.
1. Team Mate +
The first on the list is a dedicated Auditing Software created by Wolters Kluwer. With over thirty years of internal auditing experience – Team Mate+ was built to be flexible, intuitive & CAPA capable.
There’s no mobile app, but their web content should adapt to any screen size. It’s also touch-compatible, making it a workable solution for capturing data wherever you are.
If you’re looking for a tool that offers risk scoring, audit planning and reasonable integration capacity, Team Mate+ might work for you. To learn more about it, click here.
Appenate is a no-code mobile-app builder at its core. While we excel at compliance management, Appenate is a tool for dreamers – capable of bringing any paper-based process to life.
With us, you can build custom apps that tend to every dimension of your audits. You can tailor every form, capture data on any device (even offline), and enjoy many IoT-enabled features. We also offer a REST API, allowing your digital ecosystem to evolve with the help of third-party platforms.
Of course, we have our limitations. Currently, we don’t have any dashboarding tools embedded in our platform. Releasing new features and making platform updates may sometimes take a while as we’re a small team of engaged developers.
There is an undeniable bright side to our size – customers are always at the heart of our development roadmap. Unlike software monoliths, our tight-knit teams work cross-sectionally to ensure that every opinion is heard, considered, and acted on if possible.
3. Ideagen EHS
Formerly known as ‘ProcessMap’, this tool is a dedicated Health & Safety solution. And while it probably won’t translate well to other audit types, it’s an invaluable, mobile-first solution to achieve safety compliance.
You can capture near-misses, record injuries or accidents, and manage corrective actions on a single platform. With its nifty task calendar, assignments can be easily scheduled and tracked throughout the year.
The pros? Judging by online reviews, its intuitive interface and responsive support team feature at the top of the list.
On the flip side, it doesn’t come with an API, so you might run into integration issues. Many reviews also highlighted frequent back-end fixes that slow things down.
To visit their website, click here.
4. IAuditor (Safety Culture)
Just like Appenate, IAuditor is a drag-and-drop form creation tool. It’s flexible and allows you to create digital copies of your paper-based processes.
You can add conditional logic to your forms, making it a neat software for various compliance tasks. When you complete an inspection, a complete report is generated, with the option of instantly sharing it with a preconfigured group.
Customers love its clean and comprehensive dashboard and its near-seamless integration capacity.
There really isn’t much criticism available online, but one sound critique crept through the cracks – software update bugs. The team at IAuditor is always on the move, releasing new features to stay ahead…Yet some claim that frequent aesthetic upgrades often interfere with its core functionality.
You can find more info here.
Our last contender is popular amongst Manufacturing companies. They specialise in comprehensive floor audits and inspections, but it’s not all their platform can do.
It’s mobile-capable and pretty user-friendly too. With a vigorous notification system, no one will comfortably use forgetfulness as an excuse ever again. Many users also claim that EASE effectively speeds up the auditing process.
The critique? Their mobile app can be sluggish at times, unnecessarily delaying what would otherwise be a speedy process. Field limit concerns have also been raised. It’s still a great tool and a MASSIVE upgrade from any sort of paper-based system.
If EASE.IO interests you, take a look at their site.
The Decisive Factor: Is Your Auditing Software Regulation-friendly?
This is the last, undeniably critical aspect to consider before you choose. We won’t go into too much detail here, as every industry is unique.
Pro Tip: Reel in a compliance expert to help you navigate these vast grounds.
Before we move on, we’d like to add some pointers at the least…
Firstly, your auditing software must be able to push and pull data from all the necessary databases. It should also offer reliable data encryption and strict access control. Make sure you can customise forms and reports (you never know when the next regulation change will pass.) And if no native compliance docs exist, ensure it supports flexible attachment options.
Lastly, only consider solutions with some form of data security certification. Whether it’s SOC2, GDPR or ISO 27001 – these certifications signal cybersecurity competency, a quality you should never skip over.
The Final Showdown – A Comparison Table
We figured a side-by-side comparison would help you visualise the strengths and weaknesses of our contenders. This list is by no means exhaustive; check out G2, GetApp, Capterra or Trust Radius to delve even deeper.
Tailor Your Audits To Fit Your Organisation
If your auditing needs are dynamic and ever-growing, give Appenate a shot. When you sign up for our free trial, you can dive in and customise our templates or build from scratch.
Whatever you choose, our Support team will be there every step of the way (free of charge.)
For those interested in reliable ways to capture business data – feel free to check out our Data Collection Tool shortlist.
That’s it for now. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. All the best with your search!🙂