A social audit is a process used to evaluate the social performance of an organization or business. It is a systematic examination of the way an organization or business complies with its social and ethical responsibilities. Social audits are conducted by independent third-party auditors and are used to assess the organization's adherence to its stated social and ethical policies, as well as its compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The purpose of a social audit is to identify areas of potential risk, areas of improvement, and opportunities for growth. The audit helps the organization or business to understand the current state of its social and ethical practices and identify areas for improvement. It also helps to ensure that the organization or business is meeting its social and ethical responsibilities.
A social audit typically involves the following steps:
- Gather Information - The auditor will gather information on the organization or business's social and ethical policies and practices. This includes gathering documents such as policies, procedures, and standards.
- Analyze Data - The auditor will analyze the data collected to identify areas of potential risk, areas of improvement, and opportunities for growth.
- Report Findings - The auditor will then report their findings to the organization or business. The report will include recommendations for improvement and will help the organization or business to identify areas for improvement.
Example of Social audit
A common example of a social audit is an audit of a company's compliance with labor laws. The auditor will assess the company's compliance with applicable labor laws and regulations, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and working hours. The auditor may also assess the company's policies and procedures related to hiring, training, and compensation. The report will then include recommendations for improvement and help the company to ensure that it is meeting its legal and ethical obligations.
When to use Social audit
When an organization or business adopts a social and ethical policy, it is important to ensure that the policy is implemented and adhered to. A social audit is an effective way to ensure that the policy is being followed and that any areas of improvement can be identified and addressed. It also helps to ensure that the organization or business is meeting its social and ethical responsibilities. As such, a social audit is an important tool for organizations and businesses to ensure that they are meeting their social and ethical responsibilities.
Types of Social audit
There are three main types of social audit: financial, operational, and compliance auditing.
- Financial Auditing - Financial auditing focuses on the financial performance of the organization or business. It is used to evaluate the organization's financial performance and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Operational Auditing - Operational auditing focuses on the operational performance of the organization or business. It is used to evaluate the organization's operational performance and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Compliance Auditing - Compliance auditing focuses on the organization or business's compliance with social and ethical policies and practices. It is used to evaluate the organization's compliance with its stated social and ethical policies and practices.
Advantages of Social audit
The advantages of social audit include:
- Improved Compliance - Social audits help to ensure that the organization or business is meeting its social and ethical responsibilities and is compliant with applicable laws and regulations.
- Increased Transparency - Social audits help to increase the transparency of the organization or business and its practices.
- Improved Performance - Social audits can help to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth, which can lead to improved performance.
- Improved Relationships - Social audits can help to improve relationships between the organization or business and its stakeholders.
Limitations of Social audit
Social audits have some limitations, including:
- Time and Cost - Social audits can be time consuming and expensive, as they involve gathering and analyzing information.
- Subjectivity - Social audits are subjective, as different auditors may interpret the same information in different ways.
- Lack of Resources - Social audits require resources, such as personnel and equipment, and may not be feasible for smaller organizations or businesses.
There are several different approaches to conducting a social audit, including:
- Quality Assurance: Quality assurance is a process that focuses on ensuring that products and services meet the established standards of quality. It involves establishing a system of checks and balances to ensure that quality is maintained throughout the production process.
- Social Impact Assessment: Social impact assessment is a process used to evaluate the potential impacts of a proposed project or activity on the social, economic, and environmental environment. It can be used to identify potential risks and benefits of a project, and to make recommendations for mitigating any negative impacts.
- Environmental Audit: Environmental audit is a process used to evaluate the environmental performance of an organization or business. It involves assessing the organization or business's compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations, and identifying areas of potential risk.
|Social audit — recommended articles|
|Environmental audit — Operational audit — General audit — External quality assurance — Accounting and auditing — External audit — External auditors role — Internal audit — Identification of risks|
- Carroll, A. B., & Beiler, G. W. (1975). Landmarks in the Evolution of the Social Audit. Academy of Management Journal, 18(3), 589-599.
- Klychova, G. S., Ziganshin, B. G., Zakirova, A. R., Valieva, G. R., & Klychova, A. S. (2017). Benchmarking as an efficient tool of social audit development. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 12(19), 4958.