THE AUDIT PROCESS
Your involvement at every stage of the audit process is extremely important. The process works best when management and the internal auditor have a solid and constructive working relationship based on clear and continuing communication. Although every audit project is unique, the audit process is similar for most engagements and normally consists of the following stages:
Notification & Planning - First, you will receive an engagement letter which serves as notification of the upcoming audit. The auditor may send you a preliminary checklist which is a list of documents (e.g. organization charts, etc.) that will help the auditor learn about your unit before planning the audit. During the planning stages, the auditor may ask you to identify potential audit objectives that would add value to your unit. After reviewing the information, the auditor will develop a planning document, create an audit program, and schedule the opening meeting.
Entrance Conference - The Entrance Conference signifies the official start of the audit. The internal auditor, upper management, and other members of the department being reviewed are expected to be in attendance. Audit/Review objectives, criteria, completion dates and communication protocol are discussed as well as any concerns management may have.
Preliminary Survey and Internal Control Review - This is the most time consuming stage of the audit and includes gathering information about your processes and reviewing and evaluating the existing internal control structure.
Fieldwork - Fieldwork involves performing tests and examining transactions, documents, and records. During this phase, weekly status meetings are held to ensure management stays up to date on the progress of the audit and is fully aware of all potential observations. Once fieldwork work is completed, an Exit Conference is held to signify the end of audit fieldwork and to review all current and previously discussed observations with Management.
Draft Audit Report - You will receive a draft written report 4 weeks after the close of the fieldwork process that includes an overall opinion, audit results, recommendations, and management actions to be taken. Internal Audit solicits comments and suggestions from management prior to issuing the final report.
Management Response - Your response to audit recommendations is due 10 days after receiving the draft report. Then if necessary, a formal Exit Conference will be given to further discuss any issues. Once all parties are in agreement with the contents, a final report along with management responses will be issued to the applicable Executive Staff, President, and University System Office Internal Audit (USG OIA).
Follow-Up - Within a reasonable time of the final report, Internal Audit will perform a follow-up review to verify the resolution of the audit recommendations. Quarterly updates of the results are reviewed by GPC Internal Audit, Executive Staff, President and sent the USG OIA.