Home Charter Policy Statement on Internal Control Reporting Fraud, Waste & Abuse FAQs Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is internal auditing?

The Division of State Internal Audit (DSIA) defines internal auditing within the Commonwealth as "an integral part of the overall internal control system". The Institute of Internal Auditors defines internal auditing in this way:

"Internal auditing is an independent appraisal function established within an organization to examine and evaluate its activities as a service to the organization. The objective of internal auditing is to assist members of the organization in the effective discharge of their responsibilities. To this end, internal auditing furnishes them with analysis, appraisals, recommendations, counsel, and information concerning the activities reviewed."

What is internal control?

The Institute of Internal Auditors defines internal controls as the methods or procedures used by an organization to:

  • ensure reliability and integrity of information;
  • ensure compliance with policies, laws, regulations, etc.;
  • safeguard assets;
  • promote economical and efficient use of resources; and
  • accomplish goals and objectives.

Generally, there are two types of controls: 1) Preventive and 2) Detective. Preventative Controls are designed to discourage errors or irregularities from occurring. (Example: Processing vouchers only after signatures have been obtained from appropriate personnel.) Detective Controls are designed to find errors or irregularities after they have occurred. (Example: Reconciling IFIS Monthly Detail Reports to departmental records.)

Why might I request an audit?

Audits can produce many benefits and the timing of an audit can be an important factor. Consider the situation where you assume new or additional supervisory responsibilities. An audit can review administrative procedures to determine whether internal controls in your new area are adequate. An audit is also helpful in assessing system controls and changed office procedures for newly installed computer systems or procedures changed as a result of restructuring.

A periodic review of your unit's administrative activity can benefit you. It will help you to be sure that your procedures adhere to university and state policies. An audit may also include an evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of your unit's administrative activities.

Anyone within the university can request an audit. You may submit a request for an audit directly to the Office of Audit and Advisory Services. However, it is usually best to coordinate the request with your vice president.

Who will receive the audit report?

The final audit report is distributed to the Business Affairs Committee of the Board of Visitors, the president of the university, and the vice president to whom you report. Those within the university who have a need to know also receive the report.