We employ a consultative approach to audits. Each campus has designated an Audit Liaison, usually the Controller, who is a partner in the audit process and monitors the progress of any audit taking place on his or her campus.
The important elements / phases of an operational audit are:
- Entrance Conference
- Preliminary Draft Report
- Final Draft Report and Management's Responses
- Exit Conference
Planning is done by the audit staff prior to the Entrance conference. Auditors review past audit work, and talk with staff of the Central Administrative office and General Counsel, if necessary, to obtain different perspectives of the department's operations in order to define the scope of the audit. As operational issues and risk factors are identified, a draft audit program, tentative dates for fieldwork, and an agenda for the Entrance Conference are prepared.
During the Entrance Conference we discuss the audit objectives and scope. We encourage you to raise any concerns you may have, and suggest any areas or business functions that you think merit special attention. We also discuss audit logistics (facilities, availability of personnel, primary contacts, etc.) and ask you to provide preliminary information such as organization charts, a contact list and any descriptive information about the areas to be reviewed.
During Fieldwork, the audit staff reviews critical business practices and tests compliance with university procedures by means of interviews, observations, examination of documents, and analytical procedures. We periodically inform the department head or audit liaison of our progress. You may contact us at any time throughout the audit with your questions or concerns regarding the audit process or audit observations. During this phase, the audit staff identifies areas of risks and concerns within the department's internal controls and procedures, all of which will be discussed with you before the conclusion of fieldwork.
At the conclusion of fieldwork, the audit staff prepares a Preliminary Draft Report or "Points-listing" enumerating significant observations resulting from audit testing. This Draft is circulated among applicable management and staff, and discussed in order to correct any inaccuracies or incomplete information. The audit staff appreciates management's critical review of the observations and possible corrective actions.
The audit staff combines management's corrections with research of "best practices" in preparing the Final Draft Report. After the Final Draft Report is presented to the Campus Audit Liaison and appropriate campus personnel, campus management prepares and submits its responses to the observations within 30 days. Management Responses include corrective actions plans and the dates by which the plans will be implemented.
At this time, Campus Management and the Audit Liaison may request an Exit Conference to discuss the Final Draft Report and the outcomes of the audit. The Exit Conference is optional and is scheduled at the preference of the campus. Campus management will also be asked to complete a Management Satisfaction Survey within ten days of the completion of the audit in order to provide critical feedback of the audit.
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