Audit Trail Tracking and Compliance
Audit Trails Are a Must-Have for Any Critical Business Process
An audit trail provides:
As part of a process or operation. In a workflow context, this refers to the tracking, capturing, and reporting of all tasks, activities, participants, times, dates, and actions related to a particular workflow or business process. Audit trails, therefore, provide explicit who, what, when, where, how information used to either confirm that tasks were performed as expected or identify errors. Many departments in an organization require some form of auditing including Accounting, IT, Human Resources, and others.
In a business process, workflows tend to follow a fairly linear, step-by-step method where tasks are assigned and completed in a standardized order. Exceptions can be predicted and alternate paths can be taken but for the most part, these processes are predictable and auditable. Activities that occur within the process can easily be traced back to the source. For instance, a finance director who approved a purchase. By using audit reporting logs, anyone who needs to know who made this particular approval can easily find out not just who, but:
In the screenshot example below we show a sample audit trail derived from Integrify. Integrify's "Request Detail" is completely configurable by administrators, allowing for the removal or inclusion of summaries, KPIs, Open Tasks, Completed Forms, Related Requests, Request Records, Task History, and Reports.
In this example, the process was for a Competitive Discount Request Form. At the top, you can see a summary of where the process stands, which is "Approved with Adjustments."
Below that you can see that two forms were completed, both by Tom Rezk. For the sake of space, we cropped out the dates they were completed, but those are typically visible.
There are a variety of use cases that require auditing either by external auditors or internal resources.
Depending on your industry (especially healthcare, finance, government contracting, insurance, etc.) you may be subject to a regulatory audit. Government agencies can use audits you provide to review and confirm that proper standards were followed and that you can identify sources. Some common examples of audits that benefit from internal auditing software include:
Companies that have strict corporate governance and compliance initiatives can use audit reports to ensure corporate policies are being followed and root out both errors and corporate malfeasance.
Audit reports can show examples of areas for improvement in a process. For instance, if there are frequent mistakes or delays unearthed by reviewing the data, workflow administrators can look for opportunities to improve forms, copy, routing, etc., and ensure a better end product.
By reviewing audits with new employees, trainers can show examples of how a process is supposed to be followed from beginning to end and provide insight to new employees about the importance of following standards.
A common use case for auditing in IT is in the unfortunate situation of security breaches. IT staff need a plan in place for mitigating breaches properly, following a standard process. In addition, they need to be able to go back and audit the process to ensure all procedures were followed as expected.
To see how quickly you can begin automating and auditing your processes, request a demonstration or trial of Integrify.
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