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Managing and reporting audits with Excel

Jennifer Kirley Elsmar Cove Abstract We have refined our audit results collection and reporting methods using Excel spreadsheets. The tool described here has a number of advantages over commercially available applications, including low cost, adaptability, and little worry of obsolescence. The design intends to meet various audit planning and reporting needs, including ease of use, weighted scoring results, analytical capabilities and flexible reporting options. Features of this tool include: 1. Recording results is easy 2. Weighted scores for reporting performance 3. Fast management reporting capability 4. Audit planning help Features and their use 1. Recording results is easy Matrices for entering results are available for 36 audits annually, up to nine per quarter. Rows of cells for the standards element families coincide with columns for risk level categories. Three steps to recording results: a. The system area is identified b. The audit number is entered (unused matrices are left blank) c. A single x is entered in the appropriate result cell for each element covered in the audit. 2. Weighted scores for reporting performance Audit Score columns automatically calculate the scores according to weights that are assigned to risk based performance levels. Conditional formatting uses colors to reflect the performance as compared to targets.

3. Fast management reporting capability Tables automatically capture, process and convert the results data for reporting. Three different types of reporting capability include: a. Copying and pasting the quarterly table into reports or slide shows. Conditional formatting shows when results reflect levels as compared to targets.

b. Copying and pasting the area/bar chart showing weighted scores and percent of all clear (fully documented and implemented, seen as the bars). Each quarter has its own chart. c. Copying and pasting the stacked bar graph showing the percent of counts of findings in risk levels as compared to all clear. Each quarter has this automatically generated chart too.
Fully Documented & Implemented Systemic or recurring with impact on product or liability Gap in procedure or dysfunction between departments Process disconnect or performance issue Audit readiness
20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

First Quarter results: Risk Level

0% Receiving and Incoming Inspection Purchasing Manufacturing Line A, AM shift Shipping Enter name of area being audited here Enter name of area being audited here Enter name of area being audited here Enter name of area being audited here Enter name of area being audited here

10%

4. Audit planning help Process auditing can allow gaps in the standards coverage that compliance auditing would normally avoid. A column in this tool automatically totals the year-to-date elements audited, showing if the standard is being completely covered and allowing the auditor to focus on certain aspects before years end for complete system auditing. The cells are conditionally formatted to draw attention to the elements coverage status.

Results can be used for planning and prioritizing the next years audits. A table automatically processes weighted scores (light blue cells) and scores as compared to the number of elements audited (in percent, dark blue cells) to show performance for all the years audits by element group, audit number and area.

Automatically generated graphs of this data can be compared from year to year in order to note performance trends among system areas and element families.
Year to date weighted results
100% 95% 90% 85% 80% 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50%
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4 Quality Management System

5 Management Responsibility

Resource Management

Product Realization

8 Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement

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Conclusion While comprehensive audit management software is available for purchase, spreadsheets can offer various advantages, such as: Ability to view aggregate data tables for detailed and intuitive analysis. Flexible; adding element lines is easy, and the tool can be adapted for ISO 14001 and OSHSAS 18001. Conditional formatting parameters can be changed to do things like raise the bar as a system improves. Meaningful reporting is achievable, far past the Number of audits performed and Pass/fail graphs that fail to communicate actionable performance results. Methods for graphing results can be changed to suit reporting needs. An auditors performance can be linked to both audits performed and trended results data after corrective action cycles are run. The tool can be expanded and adapted for corporate audit program use. Multiple years worth of data can be stored on worksheets: one per year. No costly licensing fees for proprietary software.

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