Frequently Asked Questions
What is the function of Internal Audit?Internal Audit reviews can provide management with important and useful information. We can help determine whether there are appropriate internal controls over administrative processes and/or systems and recommend ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes as well as other areas.
How does Internal Audit do this?Through independent and objective reviews of a department's operations and procedures, Internal Audit will assist you in the effective management of responsibilities by providing analysis, recommendations, and pertinent comments concerning the review activities. This involves:
- Evaluating the soundness and adequacy of the internal control structure.
- Assessing compliance with policies, procedures, laws, and regulations.
- Reviewing the reliability, adequacy, and application of accounting, financial and other operating controls, and promoting effective control at reasonable cost.
- Evaluating the reliability of internal data by reviewing controls and security features over data processing.
- Verifying the existence of assets and ensuring that they are properly accounted for and safeguarded from loss.
- Evaluating the economy and efficiency with which resources are used, and recommending improvements in operations.
- Conducting special examinations and reviews as requested by management.
What will Internal Audit do for your department?
- Evaluate your operations and recommend ways to improve your effectiveness and efficiency.
- Help you comply with various University, State and Federal policies.
- Ensure that you have proper controls in place to protect you, your employees, and the University.
- Provide advice regarding systems, policies, procedures, etc.
What activities are auditable?Auditable activities consist of subjects, units, or systems which are capable of being defined and evaluated. These activities may include:
- Administrative, academic, or auxiliary departments.
- General ledger accounts.
- Information systems.
- Grants, contracts, and programs.
- Organizational units such as divisions, sub-divisions, or regional campuses.
- Functions such as electronic data processing, purchasing, marketing, production, finance, accounting, and human resources.
- Transaction systems for activities such as sales, collection, purchasing, disbursement, inventory and cost accounting, production, payroll, and capital assets.
- Laws and regulations.
- Policies, procedures, and practices.
What are internal controls?Internal controls are processes within a department or organization, which are designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of the following objectives:
- The reliability and integrity of information.
- Compliance with policies, plans, procedures, laws, and regulations.
- The safeguarding of assets.
- The economical and efficient use of resources.
- The accomplishment of established objectives and goals.
Through careful design, internal controls can help your department operate efficiently and effectively and provide a reasonable level of assurance that the processes, services, or products for which you are responsible are adequately protected.
What is management's responsibility regarding internal controls?Management is responsible for ensuring that internal controls are established and functioning to achieve the missions and objectives of their department. Management must respond to any changes that may cause the effectiveness of a control to deteriorate by creating additional controls or altering existing controls to protect against loss.
Why is a segregation of duties important?Throughout the business world and in all industries, lack of segregation of duties is a significant contributing factor in almost all occurrences of fraud. When duties are properly segregated the potential for loss or inappropriate use of University assets is minimized. Supervisory review of work is always important, but does not replace the need for segregation of duties. Proper segregation of duties will assure that the University's assets are properly used and safeguarded.
Why would I want to request an audit?An audit is very beneficial to assess operations within any area of the University. If you have recently assumed new or additional supervisory responsibilities, an audit can review the administrative procedures to assess whether internal controls in your area are adequate. A periodic "checkup" just to review your department's administrative activity can help ensure that your procedures continue to comply with University policies. It is also beneficial to assess system controls and procedures when new computer systems are installed.
Anyone within the University can request an audit, especially if you suspect fraudulent or questionable activity is occurring in your area. All requests will be evaluated, and University Auditing will determine whether an investigation or review is warranted. To request an audit, please contact Internal Audit at Extension 2-2341, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.