Working with auditors can be painful because it requires tedious work in the area in which the audit is carried out. This may seem unfair, but in reality auditors also have a lot of work to do. The difference is that the auditors conduct preliminary studies, those who are audited have a lot of work during the audit. The work of the auditor is highly paid, although the process itself is unchanged, the work is constantly changing, and every new day always promises something new. If you want to be an auditor, of course you need to know how to conduct an audit. Having learned the principles of the auditor, you will understand that they are simple and very valuable.
Horizontal versus vertical validation
Our method is based on horizontal rotation of personnel described in the theory of personnel management. We did not apply this mechanism to all the work of bookkeeping, but used it pointwise - only in terms of conducting an internal audit.
The essence of the method is extremely simple: the internal audit is cross-conducted by line employees responsible for individual accounting sections (see Fig. 1). Previously, the chief accountant was engaged in checking all the documentation. Now this is done either by linear employees, or accountants, leading legal entities that are part of a group of companies: once a year they check the work of their colleagues, and then submit a report to the chief accountant or management.
Fig. 1. The scheme of organization of internal audit
In other words, accountants exchange the results of their work and check how correctly a colleague keeps records, and whether his documents contain methodological errors. The first test using the new method took two weeks at SoftBalance. And this despite the fact that absolutely all areas of accounting were covered.
To better understand all the advantages of the horizontal method, consider what happens if you use the standard hierarchical structure of accounting. In this case, the chief accountant or his deputy should disperse his attention to all areas of accounting. Meanwhile, no one exempts him from the main standard amount of work. Which leads to the classic problem: a chronic lack of time for a quality check of their subordinates.
Other accountants, who have to solve routine, monotonous tasks, feel not very comfortable professionally. Which deprives them of the opportunity to grow professionally. The following problem arises from this: accountants cannot replace each other if necessary, since they are competent only within their area of work.
Internal audit mechanism
There is no strict regulation for conducting an internal audit: the volume and content of work each company chooses independently, based either on priority areas or on its own intuition. As part of an intuitive approach, you more closely check those areas where, as experience tells you, errors are possible.
Thus, there may be several schemes for conducting internal audit. We offer you three options:
- check each account selectively (some operations or not the whole period) - a scheme similar to that used by auditors,
- check out one of the most questionable areas,
- focus on income tax expenses. As a rule, it is they who are primarily checked by the tax office.
Internal horizontal verification allowed us to answer questions that previously seemed to us insoluble. For example, for a long time we could not understand where the loss comes from in the statements of the organization, which is part of the SoftBalans group of companies. As a result of the audit, it turned out that the accountant forms a reserve for doubtful debts in accounting under the tax rules. As a result, the astronomical amount falls into the reserve, which, according to the rules of accounting, cannot yet be recognized as a dubious debt. It was this amount that caused a loss.
Another plus of cross-checking is that testers, as a rule, use other forms of reports unusual for the audited. And these forms provide more control. For example, Analysis of accounts 62-76 made it possible to more accurately check the VAT on advances (see. Fig. 2). Subsequently, the audited accountant began to use this form in her work.
Benefits of Cross Validation
In terms of internal control:
- large amount of verified data,
- lack of additional costs, since you do not need to hire third-party specialists,
- an accurate and deep approach to auditing, as the staff members thoroughly know the specifics of the accounting department of the enterprise and understand what exactly to check in the documents of colleagues in the first place.
Perhaps for the first time this task may seem too laborious, but if you conduct mini-audits, for example, on a quarterly basis, then it will be easier to check colleagues, and less time will be spent. In addition, there will be an additional incentive for the auditees to put all matters in order by a certain date.
From the point of view of professional growth, the advantages of horizontal verification are no less obvious: checking his colleague, the accountant is completely immersed in his work and thus develops a new accounting area. So, your employees “pump” their professional skills and become interchangeable.
We especially note that our method is not only effective in itself - it allows you to look at the usual audit procedure with a fresh look to open up new possibilities for automation of each section of accounting.
SoftBalance Group of Companies
195112, Russia, St. Petersburg, Zanevsky pr., D.30 building 2, business center "Rostra"
SEO Audit Guide Part 1
Why do you need SEO audit? When starting to work with a website, an optimization specialist always conducts an audit to determine the current state of the resource. This is necessary in order to draw up a work plan, find errors and bottlenecks on the site. It is quite possible to analyze the site yourself - for these purposes, we did audit guide and present it to you.
We recommend that you periodically audit the promoted resource, regardless of who you are, the optimizer or the site owner. During its existence on the site, a structure change may occur, or some technical errors appear, plus a change in the search engine algorithms obliges the resource to meet the requirements of Yandex and Google.
We brought tool liststhat will be useful for auditif you missed our collections: this and this one.
We break the article into two parts, because there will be a lot of text. It’s useful for SEOs to test themselves, and for beginners to save this article, as a work planto conduct an SEO audit on it.
Internal SEO Audit
Make sure that indexing of duplicate pages, pages with dynamic content, data entry, filtering and sorting results that you want to hide from the robot is prohibited, the main mirror is indicated, access to the promoted pages is allowed. Check the file will help Yandex.Webmaster.
If your site has a Sitemap, check the correctness of the code using the validator (this tool is available in webmaster services from Google and Yandex). The file should contain no more than 50 thousand URLs and weigh up to 10 MB. If you have exceeded the limit, create multiple Sitemaps. If there is no card yet, be sure to create it and analyze it in the validator. Then tell search engines to appear through webmaster services or by adding a path to the robots.txt file.
Assessing the quality of site indexing
To find the approximate number of indexed pages, enter the site: command with a domain name without query words in a Google search. You can also use the built-in tools of Yandex.Webmaster and Google Webmaster Tools. Using the services of Screaming Frog, Xenu's Link Sleuth and others, compare this number with the total number of pages. If the values roughly match, the site is well indexed. If during an independent SEO audit you saw that not all promoted pages were indexed, look for the reason - your resource may have come under sanctions or you have closed too many pages. And if the number of indexed pages is more than real, most likely there are a lot of duplicates on the site.
HTTP status codes
Identify the pages that access error messages. For example, code 200 means that everything is working well, 404 indicates that the page was not found, and 503 indicates an internal server error. Check the status codes will help the services Monitor Backlinks, ScreaMING Frog, built-in tools Yandex.Webmaster and Google Webmaster Tools.
The URL should be no longer than 100-120 characters, be readable, match the content of the page and not contain spam by keys. Avoid complex URLs with parameters and give preference to static links, separate individual words with hyphens, so that website visitors and search robots better perceive the address.
Site loading speed
Probably, it is not necessary to say that the site should have a logical structure of pages that are sorted by categories and linked by internal links. All important pages should be located in one click from the main, and others - no further than 2-3 clicks. This is necessary so that search engines index the site faster, and users do not get lost in the search for the desired page.
Checking the internal linking, which promotes a reasonable distribution of page weight and better indexing, will help Page Rank Decoder.
Establish relationships based on the rules:
- use not only keys as anchors, but also neutral text,
- keywords in anchors should be relevant to the content of acceptor pages,
- make more links to the pages that you want to promote in the first place, link to them from the main page,
- Do not place too many internal links on one.
Check the number of characters in the headings; they should be no more than 70–90. Headings should accurately describe the content of the pages, contain (preferably first) keywords, be unique (check the uniqueness of the service Google Webmaster Tools). The page description may appear in the snippet, so do not ignore it either. Write descriptions up to 150–160 characters long. The text should be related, relevant, unique and telling about a particular page.
The main content of the page
This truth is as old as the world: write texts for people, not for search engines. Believe me, the harm from re-optimized text will be much more than good. Make sure that your content is unique and necessary for the visitor, contains catchy images with the alt attribute specified. Texts should have a logical structure, contain headings and subheadings of different levels, decorated with CSS styles and containing keys. If materials are duplicated on your site or elsewhere, search engines must understand which version to index and display in the search results. To do this, you can simply get rid of duplicates, create the 301st redirect, prohibit indexing in the robots.txt file or in the meta tags of specific pages, use the rel = "canonical" directives, etc.
External SEO Audit
Make sure your site does not have links. If necessary, use the rel attribute with a value of nofollow to prevent search engines from navigating through them. Link to high-quality content that is related to the theme of your page, and include the words describing the landing page in the link text.
To check who links to your resource, use the services Majestic SEO, Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, webmaster tools from Google and Yandex. If you saw quality sites from the same industry, you can rejoice: you are gaining high authority. But if the reports contain resources with a bad reputation and dubious content, then most likely the search engines have begun to consider your site as well.
What to do after the audit
- Of course, the first thing to do after an SEO audit of a site is to correct all identified deficiencies. If you can’t complete the modifications yourself, contact a specialist for help. To understand whether it has become better, to track the dynamics of positions, traffic, visit loyalty indicators (time of sessions, failure rate, etc.), you can find out the opinion of friends, colleagues or use special services.
- If everything was very, very bad and sanctions were imposed on your resource, write to the search engines that you have eliminated all the errors and you can remove filters from your website.
- Make it a habit to audit the site, for example, every 3rd month.
Project management as it is
Creating a business, holding an event or releasing a new product - the success of any project depends on the knowledge and skills of the project manager.
We will analyze the knowledge, skills, and cases of your competitors on an online professional development program in the field of project management. In the process of training, you will master the art of project management at all stages, learn how to achieve the necessary results with limited resources and understand how to motivate the team to invest part of the soul in the project.
While you think, we have special conditions for admission.
Website internal audit
First you need to check the correctness and convenience of the site structure. Screaming Frog, Xenu or Netpeak Spider can help. Just specify the domain of the site and the program will analyze the pages, for example:
Perform a resource analysis on the following items:
1. All pages of the site should be distributed by thematic groups. Each group should be accessible from the site menu. For example, goods should be in the catalog, with bricks separately, and carpets separately. It sounds corny, but we often came across catalogs where everything is practically in the “one heap”. The breakdown is very bad and it is impossible to guess where to look for the right product or service. This is especially the “suffering” sites of ads.
2. There is a golden rule - any page of the site should be accessible in 3 clicks. Well, at 4. But this is the maximum. Some resources are so similar to the quest-walker that they should give a prize for the page found. This is especially true of news sites.
3. If the site structure is quite complex, then don't forget about “bread crumbs”. This is an additional navigation that will help the client understand where he is and how to go to the section above the level.
breadcrumbs on wikimart
4. Do not forget about site search. If there are a lot of materials, then it will be more convenient for the user to find the desired page through a search than to “run through” sections.
5. Do Not Flash Navigation. Search robots simply cannot find links to sections of your site.
6. Use an internal linking between pages. Blocks such as: similar articles, buy with this product, interesting on the topic, recommend, etc., help out quite well.
block with recommended publications on Cossa
Page duplicates result from the addition of some dynamic parameters to the URL by the CMS. If copies of pages fall into the field of view of search engines, then they can’t decide on which page is the main one and often take both duplicates from the search results.
How to get rid of duplicate content? They can be deleted, closed from indexing in the robots.txt file, or set a redirect to the main page or use rel = "canonical".
To be continued….
In the second part of the article we will talk about the technical audit of the site and SEO analysis of external factors.