BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 1 - (Page 14)

AN AUDIT-READY MENTALITY HOW TO SURVIVE AUDITS, ON-SITE VISITS AND FEDERAL REVIEWS BY LETHA BARNES O ngoing compliance with oversight standards is critical to maintaining a level of excellence in your school and getting through a variety of audits and reviews with success. It is essential to develop and integrate an "audit-ready" mentality as a function of your school's normal daily routine. By planning and implementing strategies for avoiding non-compliance, your institution can focus on continued success in all operational areas with the confidence that all compliance issues and statistical data are current and readily available when needed. * Know what is required by each oversight agency. * Developing a full understanding of the standards required of your institution by each agency is essential. * Develop and apply appropriate written policies and procedures. * Develop a written Standard Operating Procedures Manual that addresses not only general operations but ensures your * Bright Idea! Hold "Compliance Classes" during regular staff meetings, and ask each employee to present a class on a key section of the Procedures Manual. Each employee should be responsible for preparing and presenting on a separate topic. There is no better way to become an expert on any given topic than teaching it. 14 | BE AU T Y L I NK | PRE P-A-RA-T ION | 2014 * school is in compliance with all agency oversight requirements. Use the Procedures Manual to educate all stakeholders on operating and agency requirements. Stakeholders should, in fact, be involved in developing the policies to ensure their ownership and commitment to follow them. Employees should have easy access to the written manual. Providing it in PDF format to each employee eliminates any excuse for not knowing the policy or following its requirements. Classes should be scheduled during regular staff meetings to review key sections of the manual. Further, each employee should be responsible for preparing and presenting a class on a specific section of the manual. There is no better way to become an expert on any given topic than teaching it. Develop an internal procedure for informing staff members of changes to policies, and require written acknowledgement that the new policy is understood and will be followed. Such interoffice memoranda should be memorialized and maintained in a special section of the Standard Operating Procedures Manual. Before implementing new procedures, do the necessary research to ensure the change will comply with all oversight requirements. If unsure, contact the agency and ask. Adopt a "visit ready" policy that ensures your school is ready for a review at any time. Set up binders for each oversight agency. After completing your research on what is required by each agency, prepare a binder with a table of contents listing all the documents required by the agency. If the area of compliance cannot be included in a binder, insert a narrative or explanation as to where or how the reviewer may find the required information. Review, review and review some more. * Developing policies and educating stakeholders is a waste of time unless proper implementation is monitored regularly. * Inform employees that regular monitoring will occur. Monitoring will include regular performance evaluations for each employee using the individual's position description and applicable compliance checklists as guides. Classrooms will be observed; student files will be audited; attendance records and grades will be checked; students will be interviewed; ledgers will be verified; financial aid awards and disbursements will be reviewed; outcomes will be evaluated; staff meeting minutes will be checked; advisory committee meetings will be observed and so forth. * Do NOT procrastinate. If any area is found to be non-compliant, take immediate action. Putting off a solution could be the very issue that sends you to "compliance jail." Develop an internal inspection checklist. * There is no excuse to fail because you already have the answers to the test. State Inspection forms are usually available online at the agency's website. Print them out. Accreditation standards and criteria are printed in the agency's handbook or published on the agency's website. Compliance audit requirements are found in the audit guide and also

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 1

Message from the AACS President and CEA Chair
An Audit-Ready Mentality
Launching a Career in Beauty
Your Fire: Your Purpose
Beauty Changes Lives
Good for Them and Good for Your School
Superstar Graduate
Stopping the Taboo Mentality
Skin Care Council
Planning Your Financial Future in 2014
A Student’s Perspective
What They Want
2013 AACS Annual Convention In Review
People & Places
Associate Member Profiles: Accountants
Upcoming 2014 Events
New School Members
Index to Advertisers

BeautyLink - Volume 6, Issue 1