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Do you audit your business?

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What is an audit?

If you’re in the United States and hear the word “audit” you probably have visions of IRS agents combing through your tax returns or carting you off to jail. But an audit doesn’t have to be scary.

An audit is merely an inspection of or examination of something (most often financial.) From our tech to our time, to our content, and even our goals… anything is worth an audit.

Inside The Fiery Well, we do various audits every quarter! One, as a way to keep ourselves informed and appraised of aspects of our business, and two, to develop the habit. And the habit is built around our unique audit framework.

How does The Fiery Well audit system work?

The Fiery Well A.U.D.I.T. framework is deceptively simple in design. It is a five-step framework for creating your own system of evaluation and observation in your business, or area of life. The course dives into these five main concepts:

Audit Step One – Assess

Assess where you are, and what you have. Even if it’s nothing – that’s still something. To be able to assess something means you know what you’re looking at, and what you’re looking for. There is a need to identify something, a system, or a pattern. Go through the thing you want to audit and gather every bit of information you currently have on it.

Step Two – Understand

Understanding something requires paying attention to things we may not necessarily want to pay attention to. Often this can include things that don’t seem relevant to the thing we are auditing. Nevertheless, as you begin to understand more you will have more questions. Which creates more things to asses and build awareness upon.

Step Three – Decide

When you have an understanding that feels solid enough to continue building on then it is time to make a few decisions. We audit to initiate change and must decide what needs to change. Based on all the things you currently understand and want to understand, you need to make some decisions, most importantly of which is “what is the priority?”

Step Four – Implement

Based on the decisions you have made, and the priorities you have in mind, you need to start implementing the changes you want to see. This is often where learning to do less to accomplish more comes in handy.

Step Five – Track

You’ve made your decisions, you’re implementing changes, and now you need to track the changes. This is where you are going to expand on that list and develop an informative system for tracking.

Audit Bonus Step – Simplify

The act of simplifying is quite difficult because it most often requires removing steps, or things, from what we are doing. It requires further awareness, understanding, decision-making, and tracking. Again, this is a cyclical process that you will weave in and out of as you move along. And as you move along, you have the opportunity to simplify at every stage and every pass.

During our A.U.D.I.T. Challenge, I was able to streamline my tech stack AND shave money off my monthly business budget — to the tune of $564/year!

Emily Prentice, member of The Fiery Well

This is not a one-and-done system. Passing it off to your virtual assistant is not something we recommend, either. These are steps that we encourage the business owner to go through, iterate upon, and develop a system that works inside their business. (Care to hear a member’s perspective on the framework? Listen to the discussion between Amelia and myself on her podcast, Off the Grid)

The first audit is often the most difficult. Why? Because you’re navigating the framework while completing the audit, which is like juggling two tasks at the same time. And your second pass of the same audit, which is highly encouraged, will go much quicker. In fact, the more you do the same audit, the faster it goes. And the more simplified you can make the system for yourself and your business, the better for everyone.

This is why we have a few standardized audits that we complete together inside The Fiery Well.

What type of audits should you do in business?

What should you audit? Anything you want to understand better and make data-informed decisions about your time, your tech, your content, your finances, your marketing, and on and on!

Which is the beauty of the framework alone: it’s specific enough to guide you and flexible in requirements for what you need to evaluate. It’s fixed, yet mutable. Inside The Fiery Well, we do tech, time & content audits together. Each audit we do follows the same process, and the same steps, with varying levels of detail and, prompts for further evaluation.

Applying the framework to your own business

Often, the hardest part of the audit framework is crafting the questions you need to answer.

The A.U.D.I.T. framework will teach you the importance of each step; it is up to you to develop around this framework a unique system that works for you. Each area of focus requires the application of the framework in a specific way based on the data you want to collect and evaluate.

Not sure how to apply the framework to something specific? Or how to craft the system you feel you need? I’m always available in the community to help guide you in the process.

Members, go through the main framework and subsequent audit options, depending on where you need one the most!

Not a member? Join today and gain immediate access to our AUDIT framework, support, and more.

Tags: audit, system audit, tech audit

Patty Ryan Lee is the site, systems, and spacious productivity witch behind The Fiery Well, the original tech and business support space just for service-based witches. Read more about her and The Fiery Well journey.
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