BASED ON POLICY NUMBER AND TITLE:
2-13-0 EP 5: ASSET PROTECTION
MISSION The mission of the Internal Audit Department at Trident Technical College is to provide an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve the College’s operations. The Internal Audit Department will help the College accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk, internal controls, compliance and governance processes.
PURPOSE To define the Internal Auditor’s function, role, authority, and responsibility at Trident Technical College and to provide guidelines for reporting and evaluation.
- INTERNAL AUDITING DEPARTMENT OBJECTIVE
The Internal Auditor’s objective is to assist all members of the College administration in the effective discharge of their responsibilities by furnishing them with analysis, appraisals, recommendations, and pertinent comments concerning the activities reviewed.
Depending on the audit, either the President, or the Vice President for Finance and Administration is responsible for providing general directions to the Internal Auditor and the activities he/she will audit. In instances involving an audit of the Vice President of Finance and Administration, or his/her direct reports, the President will provide general directions and oversight to the Internal Auditor. The President will also provide direction and oversight in other instances he/she deems appropriate. In instances involving an audit of the President, the Vice President of Finance and Administration will provide general directions and oversight and report the findings to the Area Commission Chairman.
The Internal Auditor’s responsibility involves going beyond the accounting and financial records to obtain a full understanding of the operations under review. The Internal Auditor will have access to all of the College's records, properties, and personnel relevant to the subject under review. He/she will have the authority to review and appraise policies, plans, procedures, and records. He/she will also have the authority to require a written response to report comments. The Internal Auditor has no direct responsibility or authority over any of the activities that he/she reviews. The Internal Auditor's review and appraisal process does not relieve College administration of the responsibilities assigned to it.
- To meet his/her objectives, the Internal Auditor engages in such activities as:
- reviewing and appraising the soundness, adequacy, and application of accounting, financial, and other operating controls and promoting effective control at reasonable cost;
- assessing/evaluating risk factors associated with the operations and functions of the College;
- ascertaining the extent of compliance with established policies, plans, procedures, laws, regulations, and accreditation standards;
- ascertaining the extent to which the College accounts for and safeguards assets from losses of all kinds;
- reviewing and appraising the economy and efficiency with which the College employs resources;
- ascertaining the reliability of management data developed within the College;
- addressing the quality of performance in carrying out assigned responsibilities;
- recommending operating improvements; and
- responding to concerns and inquiries from the Area Commission, Vice Presidents, and other appropriate College personnel. The Internal Auditor submits the recommendations outlined in his/her reports as constructive suggestions to assist in strengthening controls and procedures.
- The Internal Auditor does not develop or implement procedures of areas that she will audit, prepare records, or engage in any other activity that would impair his/her objectivity. However, recommending standards of control for systems or reviewing procedures before implementation does not adversely affect the Internal Auditor’s objectivity. College personnel should consult the Internal Auditor on the adequacy of controls incorporated into systems and procedures or any revisions to existing systems.
- The Internal Auditor must exercise due professional care. Due professional care calls for the application and skill expected of a reasonably prudent and competent internal auditor in the same or similar circumstances. The Internal Auditor should be alert to conditions and activities where irregularities are most likely to occur. Due professional care does not require detailed audits of all transactions. Consequently, the Internal Auditor cannot give absolute assurance that noncompliance or irregularities do not exist. Audit procedures alone, even when carried out with due professional care, do not guarantee that the Internal Auditor will detect fraud. Therefore, one must not regard the Internal Auditor as an insurer (guarantor) against the existence of fraud in the college.
The internal auditor shall respect the value and ownership of information he/she receives and shall not disclose information without appropriate authority unless there is a legal or professional obligation to do so.
- RULES OF CONDUCT
- The Internal Audit Department shall remain a separate entity within the organization, and the internal auditor shall not participate in any activity or form any relationships that may impair or appear to impair his/her unbiased assessment. This participation includes, but is not limited to those activities or relationships that may be in conflict with the interests of the organization.
- If the internal auditor’s independence or objectivity is impaired, the details of the impairment should be disclosed to the President or the Chairperson of the Area Commission if the impairment is caused by the President. The Internal Auditor must not be put in a position that would comprise his/her ability to provide an impartial and unbiased opinion or audit.
- The internal auditor should be free from interference in performing work, and communicating results.
- The internal auditor shall not accept any item or assistance that will impair or be presumed to impair his/her judgment.
- In accordance with college procedure, the Internal Auditor will survey the President’s Cabinet asking each Vice President to identify areas where a review by the Internal Auditor could add value to the College’s operations. Based upon this survey, and such factors as risk, previous audit coverage, significance of prior exceptions, time constraints, and external audit reports, the Internal Auditor develops an audit plan. When new audits are added to the audit plan, the Internal Auditor will inform the President's Cabinet prior to presenting the audit plan to the Area Commission. Incomplete audits will remain on the audit plan until the Internal Auditor completes them. The President's Cabinet will have an opportunity to request new audits each April. The number of audits accepted will be based on the number of audits completed and removed from the audit plan. The Internal Auditor will inform the Area Commission of the audit plan status at the last Area Commission meeting of the calendar year.
- Each routinely scheduled audit includes some, or all, of the following elements:
- Financial and compliance: evaluates (a) whether the unit properly conducts financial operations, (b) whether the unit presents financial reports fairly, and (c) whether the unit has complied with applicable laws and regulations.
- Economy and efficiency: evaluates whether the unit is managing or utilizing its resources in an economical and efficient manner and the causes of any inefficiencies or uneconomical practices, including inadequacies in the management information systems, administrative procedures, or organizational structure.
- Program results: evaluates whether the unit is achieving the desired results, whether the unit is meeting the objectives established by Management, and whether the unit has considered alternatives that might yield desired results at a lower cost. The Internal Auditor will state the audit scope as part of the audit report.
- PROCEDURE AND REPORTING
The Internal Auditor will normally follow these procedures when auditing an organizational unit:
- Prior to beginning an audit, the Internal Auditor will send written notification of the audit to the audit requestor and other appropriate individuals at the College. The Internal Auditor may perform surprise audits in the case of revenue/receipts audits, petty cash audits, payroll payoff audits, and those cases where circumstances deem a surprise audit necessary. The Internal Auditor will not send written notification of surprise audits. Additionally, the Internal Auditor will respond to questions and concerns regarding controls and other matters where an independent view may be helpful.
- The Internal Auditor will contact the audit requestor to arrange for an entrance conference. The purpose of this conference is to meet with the people involved, to communicate the objectives and purposes of the audit, and to obtain input into the audit process from appropriate college personnel.
- The Internal Auditor will perform the audit fieldwork
- The Internal Auditor may discuss any findings with the audit requestor as the audit progresses or may wait until he/she completes the draft audit report to engage in discussion.
- After completion, the Internal Auditor will send the draft report to the audit requestor for review before scheduling a meeting, if necessary, to discuss the report. The report's discussion may also take place via email. The Internal Auditor may modify the draft report as necessary as a result of this discussion. The audit requestor may share and discuss the draft report with other individuals within their unit as deemed appropriate. The audit requestor will have 10 working days to respond to the recommendations to correct the audit findings.
- At the end of the 10 working days period, the Internal Auditor incorporates the audit requestor's responses into the report, and issues the final audit report to the audit requestor, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, and the President. The Internal Auditor, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, or the President may distribute part of or the full final report to other College personnel as necessary. It may be necessary to redact the final report before issuing to those other personnel at the College.
- Ninety working days after issuing the final audit report, the Internal Auditor will follow-up with the audit requestor regarding the implementaiton of the audit recommendation. The Internal Auditor will deal with any recommendations that have not been implemented on a case-by-case basis.
- POST-AUDIT REVIEW
The Internal Auditor will perform a follow-up review or audit, as appropriate, to review the effectiveness of any actions taken to implement recommendations. The Internal Auditor will issue a memorandum or report reflecting the results of this follow-up.
- RELATIONSHIP WITH EXTERNAL AUDITORS
The Internal Auditor will make every effort to cooperate with appropriate external agencies to furnish information and support in order to minimize duplication of effort and maximize service and value to the College.