How to automate your audit trails—and why you should

Audit trails can be used to verify that transactions are being done correctly and honestly, with as few steps as possible.

An audit trail includes the steps required to start a transaction and bring it to completion. An example of this would be to audit a vendor invoice.

An audit trail is a trail that documents the history of transactions within a company. It can be electronic or paper based.

While audit trails are typically created to allow an auditor to trace the financial data from a company’s general ledger to the source document (invoice, receipt, voucher, etc.) and view the full process of a given transaction, audit trails are not purely for financial transactions. They can be used to track the steps of onboarding new employees or follow the path from the creation of an NDA to eventual approval by those on the team who sign off.

Whatever the method, a clear and easily followed audit trail can indicate solid internal controls using an objectively verifiable process.

An audit trail that contains missing documents, on the other hand, could indicate that a company does not follow proper workflow processes.

How do you automate your audit trail?

You need to automate your audit trail by using solutions that digitize documents and capture key information at the time of transaction completion. You’ll still have manual work to complete.

Each step is important in effective automation.

Requests for and approvals

Approval is required for most company transactions. Someone with enough authority must approve and usually does so electronically or in writing.

The best way to get approval is within the system itself. Consider, for example, that you can use virtual credit cards to make online purchases. An employee can create a virtual credit card to buy a subscription to software. However, before they can “unlock” the funds, their manager must approve the purchase and sign off.

When done within the workflow system, you have all the information you need, including the approval and request, the recipients, the date, time and reason, as well as the email trail. That equals an automatic, enforced audit trail.

Transaction data

The ability to access all transaction histories on demand is one of the most critical elements of an audit trail.

It’s worth automating the process using a software program that tracks each step of the process, regardless of whether it’s employee onboarding or sales contracts. An automated audit trail records every transaction and stores it in a convenient place that can be found easily. This allows for easy review whenever necessary.

Foxit eSign provides a complete audit trail for anything that requires eSignatures

Foxit eSign, the eSignature service providing full, legally binding, and secure eSign workflow, makes it easy to create and sign digital contracts, agreements, and forms.

To ensure you always stay secure, Foxit eSign supports 256-bit encryption, certified completion, control of visibility, email authentication and audit trails. You’ll have a complete, step-by-step record of the entire signature process, ensuring you meet compliance regulations and any needs for forensic review.

Give Foxit eSign a try and see for yourself how easy it is to bring document signing into the modern era and get the audit trail support you need.

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