1. What does an Internal Auditor do?
The primary responsibility of the Internal Auditor is to evaluate and promote the system of internal controls established at the District. This is accomplished by a variety of means, including planned audits, internal control reviews, advisory services and staff training. In addition, the Internal Auditor performs special projects as requested by the Superintendent, Board of Trustees, or others. The Internal Auditor has a dual reporting relationship. The Internal Auditor reports administratively to the Superintendent and functionally to the Board of Trustees.
2. How do you decide what to audit?The Internal Audit Department prepares an annual audit plan and submits it to the Board of Trustees for approval. It is developed based on a combination of risk assessment, follow-up to previous audits, and mandated recurring audits. Typically, an audit is selected for review as a result of Internal Audit’s annual audit plan, administrative requests, or allegations of fraud or other misconduct.
3. What happens once an area is selected for an audit?The Internal Audit Department prepares for the audit by planning the audit scope and objectives and becoming familiar with the area to be audited. Except for surprise audits, the auditee is always notified in writing prior to the start of the audit. An entrance conference may be scheduled to discuss the purpose and scope of the audit. The actual fieldwork may take from a few days to several weeks to complete. During our fieldwork, as well as at the conclusion of our fieldwork, we will discuss any findings or recommendations noted during the audit. A preliminary report is prepared and reviewed with the auditee. The auditee is then provided an opportunity to review the report and provide us with a written plan of corrective action that has been or will be taken addressing each of the recommendations made, if any.
4. Who receives a copy of internal audit reports?The Board of Trustees and the Superintendent receive copies of all audit reports. In addition, for Student Activity Audits, the Principal, the Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and the Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance receive copies of the reports. For other audits, the Director, the appropriate Assistant Superintendent and/or Executive Director and the appropriate Associate Superintendent receive copies of the reports. Given the confidential nature of investigative audit reports, Internal Audit further limits the distribution of such reports.
5. What are internal controls? Why should I be concerned?
Internal control can be defined as a process, affected by an entity’s board, management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of goals and objectives in the following categories:
- Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
- Reliability of financial reporting
- Compliance with laws and regulations
- You should be concerned with internal controls because everyone at the District has some responsibility for the achievement and adequacy of internal controls.
6. Why does each department need individual policies and procedures, in addition to the Board Policies and Administrative Guidelines?Each department should maintain its own departmental policy and procedures manual to ensure that:
- Continuity and consistency of operations occurs
- Efficiency in operations occurs
- Documentation of “what-to-do” or “what-should-be-done” exists
- Documentation of “how-to-do” exists
- Documentation of the handling of non-routine and/or infrequent process exists
- Efficiency and effectiveness of training for new employees occurs
On the other hand, Board Policies and Administrative Guidelines may address district-wide issues and do not cover specific departmental procedures, processes and/or services.
7. What should I do if I learn of a fraud at the District?
Any person who suspects fraud or financial impropriety in the District shall report the suspicions immediately to any supervisor, the Superintendent or designee, the Board President or local law enforcement (Board Policy CAA Local). Anonymous reports can also be made through the District’s Fraud and Ethics Hotline
8. Whom should I contact if I have questions not covered in this section?
For any additional questions, please contact the Internal Auditor, Marta G. Stahl, CPA, by telephone at (956) 473-6352 or email at email@example.com