The tendency for an audit team from the home country is to use its experiences and standards as a benchmark against which the evaluation is conducted. Variations may seem wrong merely because they differ from the experiences of the auditors. For example, discrimination by sex, race, tribal grouping, social status, religion, caste, or another nonmeritorious criterion may violate company policies but may also be an expected and even necessary practice in some foreign countries.
The greatest difficulty for the audit team lies in identifying areas of variation from company practices that are not justified by the foreign context. On the one hand, the HR function seeks uniformity in practices and procedures across all operations to ensure compliance with company policies and assure a uniform corporation culture. On the other hand, competition, laws, culture, and employee satisfaction may demand variations from company policies practices, and procedures. Variations should be noted so that policy maker s can decide whether such differences should be allowed to continue. Probing into the purpose of the variations may reveal appropriate justification or poor management practices. Of particular importance are variations that violate home-country laws even though those actions are accepted practice in the foreign country.
For example, bribing government officials is a common practice in some countries, but when done by U.S. firms, those actions violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. International audits are of particular importance precisely because of the wide variability in a global operation. Differences in education, experience, culture, and other factors may lead to different HR practices that are at best inefficient and at worst ineffective. Unless business necessity justities differences, the goal should be uniformity in policies, practices, and procedures
throughout the organization. This is not uniformity for its own sake. Instead, uniformity facilitates ease of administration and reassignment of personnel and makes research into intracompany comparisons easier and more accurate.