5 reasons why auditing on spreadsheets is holding your business back

5 reasons why auditing on spreadsheets is holding your business back

Paper forms and excel spreadsheets are accessible tools, widely used for audits and various checks across businesses. Changing how you do audits may not be on the top of your to-do list: after all, why fix something that isn’t broken?

The answer is that if you haven’t experienced efficient, digital audits – you won’t know what you are missing! Here we’ll list the top reasons why your current paper and/or spreadsheet audits are sub-optimal, with real stories of our customers who digitised their inspections – and are not looking back!

1. Audit reports take too long

After conducting audits, walking around the premises or different locations, you go back to your desktop computer at the office… and you now need to compile everything in the excel report, attaching the correct pictures, maybe scanning paper evidence, etc. Not only this is tedious, but it also causes many delays and limits the number of audits that can be completed.

kitchen inspection

With audits done directly on a phone or tablet, all these steps are unnecessary. You can immediately attach pictures from your device, tap the responses and notes, and add more comments later at the office later, if required. Then simply click a button, and a professional-looking report is automatically generated, ready to be shared or stored. Our customers report up to 5 times faster auditing and reporting, and see significantly more audits completed by the field teams!

2. It’s hard to keep data consistent and traceable

Each user fills the forms and updates spreadsheets to the best of their ability and understanding. Consistently keeping track of document creation date, using naming conventions, tracking when the document was last edited and by whom… is all a challenge. You have no easy way to provide the right guidance and constraints, such as mandatory photo evidence for a given question, a particular colour-coding etc. Looking at spreadsheets maintained by different owners, you will definitely see major differences!

Furthermore, when you update your inspection checklist template, you need to make sure that all your team members use the latest version going forward. Over time, version control can really become a problem, especially in larger teams.

retail audits

With digital checklists, you can add special conditions and requirements to ensure data collection quality, and any updates are immediately available on everyone’s device. Additionally, automated time-stamps, GPS location, e-signatures and other features allow to capture consistent and auditable data, without the user having to enter it. Finally you can add various levels of permission within the system, so that only certain users can Edit or access certain information.

3. Communication is inefficient

Version control is one aspect why communication is inefficient when using spreadsheets or paper. The other aspect is sharing the audit reports, getting managers to review and approve them, and taking quick action if necessary.

A great benefit of using digital audits is the speed of communication. Instantly compiled reports can be automatically distributed to a pre-determined emailing list, with notifications and reminders as needed. This means that the finding will be shared much quicker, and issues resolved faster as well. Read here how the Independent Food Company accelerated their food quality and hygiene audit turnaround by 4 times.

4. You don’t know if your audit findings were actioned

corrective actions

The objective of audit checks is to catch quality or safety problems and non-compliances. But how do you make sure that someone actually took action based on your findings? Information can get lost in emails, accountability is not always clear, and daily emergencies take over.

Our digital inspection app offers task management: when you find an issue, you can immediately assign an action to the right person, and track its completion on the dashboards. The users receive notifications, reminders and can discuss the issue directly on the system. Because we understand not everyone will be a frequent app user, we offer unlimited Assignees – and they don’t even need to login into the system to provide their update.

With GoAudits we save at least 20 hours a week across different users, especially writing action plans, as now everything is done in one place.

Kartella Fuller, Director of operations at Goodwill Industries
Read full customer story

5. You have no visibility across audits

Are the audit scores trending up or down? What are the top 3 recurring issues across your teams or locations? Having this information would allow you to proactively drive business improvements. But with data scattered across different forms or spreadsheets, retrieving past audits and compiling summaries takes way too long. And even if you do go through this exercise a few times per year, your information is outdated already!

inspection reports

With all audit data in the system, it’s easy to see trend charts over time, across locations, auditors or audit topics. The information is available in real-time, all you need to do is open the dashboard and select the criteria you want to view. You can also schedule summary reports, so that the right stakeholders receive regular updates.

Read more of our customer testimonials and see how companies across different industries save time, streamline operations and improve quality and safety standards with GoAudits.

Try digital audits for FREE! Click here to book a demo or start a free trial now. Download the GoAudits inspection app on the app store for free.