Credit unions have to deal with many different kinds of audits every year. From the dreaded NCUA regulatory examinations down to technology compliance audits, there are several.

One way to keep audits from being too daunting is to keep a consistent set of processes. Credit unions can reap many benefits from standardizing processes and making sure they do them the same every time. Some of the benefits include:


  • Knowing who to involve
  • Knowing which steps come when
  • Knowing what to prepare

That’s a lot of “knowing,” but someone once said that knowing is half the battle. We’ll take it. Standardizing processes also gives people the chance to refine their approach. The more practice people have doing the same processes, the faster and more efficient they become.

But there’s one thing you need to get started with standardizing audit processes:

A credit union audit checklist.

Building Your Own Credit Union Audit Checklist

We’ve actually seen a lot of credit unions successfully build their own audit checklists. While each checklist looks slightly different, they all share some characteristics. And, just as importantly, they share similar processes for building one.

So, if you’d like to create your own credit union audit checklist, then you’ll need a place to start.

Step One: Open a New Document and…

There are three different ways to start your new credit union audit checklist. All will work great, but #2 and #3 may be easier in the long run.

1.    Charge ahead!

You have to start somewhere! Open a new document and start putting in must-do items. Don’t worry too much about the order of things—you can get to that later. The most important thing is to just start.

Remember that this is not your final version! If you make a mistake, forget something, or add something in twice, that’s fine. You’ll have plenty of time to revise it. Your pre-audit checklist should be simple.

2.    Develop as you go

One special hack for creating a simple, accurate audit checklist is to create it as you prepare for and complete an audit. Just document what you’re doing to prepare for your audit, step by step, as you do it. Then, do the same thing during your audit. Write down each step in your audit checklist, and you’ll start building it organically!

This method will ensure that you include everything you need. At least, everything you need for one audit. You’ll still need to add, edit, and adjust as necessary.

3.    Use another audit checklist as a template

If you don’t want to start with a blank document, then you can model yours off another. We created a credit union audit checklist that could serve that very purpose.

This option will be the easiest option, but you’ll still probably need to change it to fit your credit union over time.

Step Two: Revise, Revise, Revise

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing all these blogs, it’s that revision is key. Most writers agree that the revision process takes even longer than the writing process!

The same should be true for your credit union’s audit checklist. After you develop your first draft, you should think of it as a living document. After all, if your processes, audits, and regulations change, so too should your audit checklist.

Over time, you’ll have a comprehensive checklist that captures nuances and addresses just about every aspect of an audit that you’ll need to address.

audit checklist

FREE: Audit Checklist for Credit Unions

4 key principles and 13 questions to jumpstart your audit planning. From leading credit unions.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter which method you use to start your document. What matters is that you keep working with it. When it’s finished—if it can ever truly be finished—it should be tailor-made for your credit union’s specific needs.

And remember: just because you have a checklist that looks complete, it doesn’t mean that it is complete. It should be a living document. You should continue updating it as needed.

If you’d like to read more about how your credit union can breeze through audits, subscribe to our blog. Or if you want to see how hyperlinks work, click some of those red, all-caps phrases below!

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