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University of West Georgia
Internal Audit: Annual Report FY04
The mission of the Department of Internal Audits is to support the University in the pursuit of its mission to provide opportunities for intellectual and personal development through quality teaching, scholarly inquiry, creative endeavor and service for the public good. The Department of Internal Audits’ Audits mission is to add value, ensuring UWG continues to provide its customers with the highest quality of services in the most efficient and effective manner to meet or exceed its overall goals.
The Department of Internal Audits is committed in its support of the University in its continuous pursuit of maintaining its utmost reputation for maintaining its high level of standards and ethics in providing the West Georgia community the opportunities to continuously improve their intellect and personal development. The Department of Internal Audit's provides management with an objective view by means of evaluation and recommendations relating to the quality of these opportunities offered to its customers. (Students, faculty, staff and community)
The Department ensures through coordination of Federal, State, Regents, and Institutional audits the University receives an objective opinion designed to add value and improve the University’s operations. Every effort is made to comply with the industry standards, as defined by the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Professional Standards in satisfying the expectations and needs of management. The department conducts audits, scheduled and unscheduled, to provide management an independent appraisal of the University’s compliance with policies, procedures, laws, and regulations. The department’s flexibility ensures the University’s administration’s it ascertains the desired level of confidence in maintaining adequate internal controls.
Departmental Statement of Goals, Process to Assess These Goals, and Assessment Results:
Goal # 1
Ensure through coordination of Federal, State, Regents, and Institutional audits to provide the University an objective opinion designed to add value and improve the University’s operations.
Method for Assessing Goal # 1
1. Evaluate the risk exposure for all UWG’s auditable areas
2. Conduct objective evaluation and analysis
3. Assist auditable areas to develop and implement corrective action plans
A. Departmental Audits
B. Bookstore audit
C. IRS 10-99 Reporting Audit
D. State Auditors’ A-133 audit (Federal requirement)
Goal # 2
Comply with the industry standards, as defined by the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Professional Standards.
Method for Assessing Goal # 2
1. Participate in the University System’s Peer Review process, including the initial phase of self-assessment.
2. Perform the duties and responsibilities within the guidelines set forth in the Institute of Internal Auditors’ “Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.”
A. Results of Self-Assessment
B. Team member participating in Peer Review of another of the System’s institution
C. Recipient of Peer Review by fellow System’s auditors
D. Attend Association of College and University Auditors’ (ACUA) annual conference
Goal # 3
Satisfy the expectations and needs of management.
Method for Assessing Goal # 3
1. Develop an annual audit plan, approved by the University’s President and Vice President for Business and Finance and the System’s audit committee.
2. Ensure by examination and evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of the University’s system of internal controls.
A. Conduct annual risk assessment process and developing FY 2004 Audit Plan
B. Conduct approved audits in compliance with the recognized, industry Standards.
Goal # 4
Conduct audits, scheduled and unscheduled, to provide management an independent appraisal of the University’s compliance with policies, procedures, laws, and regulations.
Method for Assessing Goal # 4
1. Test key controls designed to ensure compliance.
2. Identify weaknesses and make constructive recommendations that lead to qualified decisions by UWG’s administration.
3. Reconcile accounts
A. Travel/Cash Advances (Studies Abroad)
C. Annual audits of campus inventories available for sale
Goal # 5
Continue to offer internships to eager and ambitious accounting majors in his/her final year of undergraduate study and seek “hands-on” work experience in a professional and compliance business environment
Method for Assessing Goal # 5
1. Compliance with (IIA) audit standards
a. Research applicable policies and procedures
b. Develop an audit program
c. Execute audit program
d. Conduct “exit” conference with auditee
e. Prepare audit report with copy distributed to UWG administration and Board of Regents
2. Employment potential
A. Departmental audits
a. Department of Chemistry
b. Department of Computing
B. Students’ employment opportunities
Give An Example of How Your Department Used The Assessment of Goals and Outcomes to Change/Improve a Process
Early in 2003, the University’s Vice Presidents agreed approximately five educational support/administrative departments would participate in a five-year department review that closely emulates the academic program review. As part of this process, the Departmental Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) was born. The committee’s responsibilities are two-fold:
1. To receive five-year study reports from those departments up for review, and
2. To review these self-studies and submit a report of any recommendations to the Vice President over that department.
The Department of Internal Audits volunteered to be the first department to represent the Business & Finance Division in the assessment process. The department presented a strong argument for the need of additional full-time position audit professional position for the University’s audit function. There are two primary factors that forced major changes in the way UWG conducts business and how it presents this information in its annual financial report. They were:
1. Implementation of the Government Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) Statements 34/35 in fiscal year 2002
2. The University System’s self-supported financial/accounting software system was obsolete beyond the point where modifications and/or upgrades were not feasible. The University System Office (USO) and a committee of institutional representatives selected PeopleSoft as the acceptable replacement software to be adopted by the System and required implementation during fiscal year 2002 for financial reporting.
These decisions continue to place greater demands on current audit resources despite these implementations occurring in fiscal year 2002. The Vice President for Business & Finance made the decision to add a full time equivalent (FTE) to the Department of Internal Audits based on the impact of these implementations on Business & Finance and the DRAC process’ results. Unfortunately, due to special circumstances in the Comptroller’s Office, this position was filled less than six months during fiscal year 2004.
A new employee has been hired and is scheduled to begin work in mid-July 2004. She has Banner experience and is a recent UWG undergraduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Her immediate plans include enrolling in graduate school and taking advantage of the tuition remission benefits offered to employees.
General Statement of Department Condition:
The department will continue to prioritize audit attention until resources reach full capacity. The Department of Internal Audits will continue to:
1. Offer internship opportunities to eager and ambitious students approaching graduation, majoring in accounting and interested in pursuing “hands-on” experience by conducting departmental audits. (Unfunded positions.)
2. Work toward developing a five-year audit plan that will provide 100% audit coverage for the University in compliance with the System’s directive. Each department will continue to be evaluated annually in regards to compliance.
3. Conduct departmental audits to ensure campus personnel follow federal, state, system, and university policies and procedures.
Examples of specific functions and responsibilities of the Department of Internal Audits are to:
* Conduct all assigned audit tasks made by University administration and System’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Internal Audits
* Conduct an objective evaluation of the assigned audit tasks
* Provide written analysis and findings derived from the audit procedures
* Work directly with established auditable areas to select, develop, and assist in implementing acceptable procedures
* Plan and execute the University System Board of Regents’ annual audit plan
* Ensure that the Department of Internal Audits maintains compliance with guidelines set forth by the Institute of Internal Auditors
* Make certain that all auditable areas of the institution are in compliance with the policies, procedures, laws, and regulations applicable to each area
* Participate in both UWG and the University System’s Peer Review process, including the phase of self-assessment
The visions for the future of this department can be obtained with the proper resource funding, planning, and guidance. Within the range of the next five years this department will be able to:
1. Complete planned and approved annual audit plan on schedule and in budget (hours)2. Ensure all departments receive audit attention within the scope of the next five years
To accomplish these goals certain elements must fall into place. The Department of Internal Audits’ staff doubled in size during fiscal year 2004. The department is now comprised of two full time equivalent (FTE) positions. The staff must continue to receive sufficient software training for such programs as PeopleSoft, Banner, and Regents’ Price Waterhouse Coopers’ TeamMate. We will develop an audit report template for departmental audits which will streamline the report process. These elements will ensure the Department of Internal Audits will accomplish it goals of satisfying increased demands for its services, timely and accurate audit reports, and maximizing the benefits of the department to the University.
Develop five-year audit plan that will provide 100% audit coverage for the University in compliance with the System’s directive. Each department’s risk factor will be evaluated on an annual basis for compliance.
The Department will continue to conduct random audits at the departmental level to provide reasonable assurances that University personnel follow State of Georgia, Regents, and university policies and procedures. The Department of Internal Audits will continue to offer assistance to each department attempting to improve its accountability and quality of service to its customers. All requests for assistance will be provided in a professional manner and in compliance with the audits standards.
There are no definitive numbers that will enable this department to project long or short term need for its services. By the very fact that 125 departments exist on this campus, there exist the potential for more than 125 audits to be conducted by this department. Projecting need for internal audit services cannot be placed in quantitative measures due to unexpected problems within any department.
Example: Annual audit conducted by the State Auditors for fiscal year 2002.
Three weeks has always been a sufficient amount of time to allow for the completion of the field work. The field work required approximately ten weeks on campus to conduct its annual review. With the departure of the State Auditors, Internal Audits continues to follow-up to ensure the corrective action plan approved by the University’s administration is implemented within the specified timeline and continues to follow-up with the department responsible for the audit finding.
The Department of Internal Audits has the responsibility of ensuring no findings re-occur and corrective action plan is developed and implemented within an appropriate time frame. Therefore, the university’s audit function continues to follow-up each fiscal year, until the risk factor has been reduced practically to zero. With the projected increases in enrollment, increased demand for goods and services, and progressive reorganization of departments, there can be no doubt that demand for services from Internal Audits will increase in the next five years. The demand on financial resources tends to grow at a higher rate than that of enrollment. By human nature itself, people will continue to search for ingenuous methods to stretch the department’s allocation of funds. Unfortunately, rules and regulations often are overlooked in attempts to find a shortcut to justify the means to the end.
UWG’s Department of Internal Audits utilized the “volunteered services” of two interns during fiscal year 2004. The students, in exchange for their services gained valuable on-the-job work experience as auditors. The training phase begins with a review of the Institute of Internal Auditors Professional Standards, accepted worldwide as the “industry standards.” From this point forward the students utilized the audit resources located on the web. The most informative web sites maintained by audit oriented organizations include the Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA), Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and AICPA. The students combined their education and these internet resources to develop and execute an audit program in the area of departmental auditing. The students chose the Departments of Chemistry and Computing. The students used the on-the-job experience and the knowledge learned in the classroom; fused the information together and applied it in a real world scenario.
The Department of Internal Audits wishes to continue this program for years to come. A coordinated effort with Career Services and the Richards College of Business has allowed an undergraduate student to work in a joint position of providing clerical support (.5 FTE) and to prepare and execute a self-defined audit program (.5 FTE Intern) during Summer and Fall 2003 semesters. The next phase is to tap into the University’s student knowledgebase and utilize the technology resources to develop and execute an audit program with concentration placed on local networks.