How to Use Documentation to Ace Audits

Author: IT Glue’s Joshua Oakes
Author: IT Glue's Joshua Oakes

Audits are torture and compliance is a nuisance. Yet, they don’t have to be those things. Whether you’re in a vertical where demonstrating compliance is essential, or if you’re just looking to tighten up your processes in anticipation of future audits, documentation can prove to be a valuable resource.

There are different types of audits, of course, but they all have some common features. Auditors like to know that everything that should be documented has been, and they like to be able to see that documentation. If all of the documentation you need to have is logged in the same place, easy to search, and just as easy to access when you need to show it, your audits will be a lot smoother. Knowing that everything is not only documented but easy to produce on demand, gets you that much closer to the ideal of a pain-free audit.

Of course, you’ll want to have your compliance-related SOPs documented as well. An audit might touch on a lot of different departments – from the way HR vets your employees to the more standard financial auditing, to control systems for handling sensitive information. Having those processes documented makes it easier to produce audit-specific documentation. It also allows for knowledge transfer, so you don’t need audit-team continuity in order to demonstrate that you have the necessary controls in place.

Compliance is another area where documentation can help your business. Obviously, SOPs are a good way to ensure compliance, but they also provide evidence that you train for compliance. Being able to show that the company has done its part comes in handy if ever there is a lack of compliance at some point that needs to be investigated. Even if it never comes to that, a documentation system that comes with an audit trail and version control will provide full transparency when documenting your SOPs. It’s the difference between being compliant and proving compliance.

MSPs are facing increasing regulatory burden. Whether it is obtaining a SOC 2 certification, following HIPAA in the healthcare vertical, or GDPR in Europe, many MSPs need to demonstrate compliance in one way or another, and documentation is key to doing that. Having everything stored in one place, your single source of truth, makes the entire compliance process stronger. To find out how IT Glue can help you leverage the power of documentation throughout your business, contact us for a demonstration of our robust, best-practices driven documentation platform.

Joshua Oakes is a content writer at IT Glue, which develops documentation software for MSPs. Read all IT Glue blogs here.