Auditors and IT managers should be aware the process of auditing an enterprise resource planning system varies from that of reviewing standalone systems. After all, ERP solutions have many functions that need to work cohesively in order to achieve desired results across an entire organization.
Given the multiple steps that go into the auditing process, there are many oversights that can occur if auditors are even the slightest bit negligent. These are six common pitfalls in the ERP auditing process:
1. Going in without a plan
This may go without saying, but just in case auditors need a reminder: Have a checklist prepared for your process. That list should clearly state the action steps of the audit in detail.
Similarly, your company should also have a master list that outlines objectives from each department within your company, as well as the functions a given department uses within the ERP system. As auditors make their way through the process, they should be asking themselves the following questions: Are the ERP functions enabling the company to meet its objectives? Is there a more efficient way the system could be doing so?
2. Waiting for a crisis to arise
It's essential company managers be proactive and place their auditing process on a set schedule. Doing so makes it easier for potential problems to be detected sooner. As ERP Focus noted, if auditors wait until an emergency takes hold, it may present a problem in meeting important internal and external deadlines.
3. Not tackling the audit as a team
Instead of putting an audit on a single IT specialist or individual within the company, assemble a special ERP evaluation team comprising employees throughout your organization could prove beneficial. After all, each department has a stake in your ERP system's success and may have centralized insight into its functioning.
It's certainly worth noting you want your team to include individuals who understand how the ERP solution should operate and realize when there is a flaw in the system.
4. Failing to compare
If your company is in the process of implementing a new ERP system, it's vital auditors measure results both before and after going live. Even if you've been using your current system for an extended period of time, those conducting the process should compare current findings to past ERP audits. Doing so may lead to the revealing of any noteworthy trends – both positive and negative.
5. Ignoring potential improvement avenues
Though there may not be glaring errors within your system, chances are, there are ways you could be increasing use and getting better results from your ERP system. It's vital for auditors and reviewers to be on the lookout for such opportunities.
6. Struggling to carry out the audit internally
Considering the impact an audit may – and probably should – have on your organization, companies that don't have the internal resources to carry out such a process should look outside of its organization. To ensure an audit is handled properly, decisions makers can reach out and hire a reputable third-party consultant.
Companies wanting to learn more about warehouse management systems can download our Warehouse Management for Microsoft Dynamics NAV white paper today.