Frequently Asked Questions
* WHY WAS I SELECTED TO BE AUDITED?
If you are like many directors or department heads, you may not have requested an internal audit. The University conducts a regular, ongoing examination of its internal controls; and, as part of this process, the Office of Internal Audit conducts numerous audits annually. Regular audit reviews for many units are scheduled on a rotating cycle; some reviews are selected on a random basis. A small percentage of internal audits are initiated to investigate possible irregularities.
*CAN I REQUEST AN AUDIT?
Yes, an audit can produce many benefits, and timing can be an important factor. If you have recently assumed new or additional supervisory responsibilities, an audit can review administrative procedures to assess whether internal controls in that unit are adequate. It is also beneficial to assess system controls and modified office procedures when new computer systems are being installed.
A periodic "checkup" to review your unit's administrative activity can help ensure that your procedures continue to comply with University policy. An audit is an opportunity to receive an independent appraisal of the effectiveness and efficiency of your unit's administrative activities.
Anyone within the University community can request an audit. You should coordinate the request with your Dean or supervisor who should subsequently inform the appropriate Vice President. If you suspect someone is involved in something illegal, you may notify us directly. At your request, we will make every effort to maintain confidentiality.
*WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN AN AUDIT IS SCHEDULED FOR MY
The Office of Internal Audit will contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss the scope of the review and the logistics of conducting the audit. At this initial meeting, you should take the opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the audit, and to determine how you can facilitate the review process. A typical audit has several stages, including preliminary research, data collection and analysis, review, preparation and distribution of a report, and follow-up.
*HOW LONG WILL THE AUDIT TAKE?
Audits can last from several days to several months. The auditor will give you a reasonable estimate of the time needed to complete the audit.
*HOW WILL THE AUDIT FINDINGS BE REPORTED?
You and your staff will be kept apprised of the auditor's findings throughout the course of the audit. At the conclusion of the audit, you will be able to review a draft of the report before the final version is issued. Except for special reports requested by a government agency, all audit information is treated as confidential and reported only to those within the institution who need to know.
Final audit reports are distributed to the University of Louisiana System Audit Committee, President, Provost, Vice Presidents, the Dean or your supervisor, and you. In addition, the State Legislative Auditor has access to all regular audit reports.
*WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF AUDITS?
FINANCIAL AUDITS address questions of accounting and reporting of financial transactions, including commitments, authorizations, and receipt and disbursement of funds. The purpose is to verify that there are sufficient controls over cash and cash-like assets and that there are adequate process controls over the acquisition and use of resources.
COMPLIANCE AUDITS determine the degree of a unit's adherence to laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. Examples of external requirements include Federal and State laws, NCAA regulations, and Federal and State OSHA regulations. Recommendations often call for improvements in processes and controls intended to ensure compliance with regulations.
INFORMATION SYSTEM (IS) AUDITS address the internal control environment of automated information processing systems and how people use those systems. IS audits typically evaluate system input, output, processing controls, backup and recovery plans, system security, and computer facility reviews. IS auditing projects can focus on existing systems as well as systems in the development stage.
OPERATIONAL AUDITS, sometimes called program or performance audits, examine the use of unit resources to evaluate whether those resources are being used in the most efficient and effective ways to fulfill the unit's mission and objectives. An operational audit includes elements of a compliance audit, a financial audit, and an IS audit.
ADMINISTRATIVE INTERNAL CONTROL REVIEWS focus on the departmental level activities that are components of the University's major business activities. Areas such as payroll and benefits, cash handling, inventory and equipment and their physical security, grants and contracts, and financial reporting are usually subject to review.
INVESTIGATIVE AUDITS are performed when appropriate. These audits focus on alleged civil or criminal violations of State or Federal laws or violations of University policies and procedures that may result in prosecution or disciplinary action. Internal theft, white-collar crime, misuse of University assets, and conflicts of interest are examples of reasons for investigative audits.
*WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?
Please direct questions toChibuike "UK" Azuoru( UK.Azuoru@selu.edu), Office of Internal Audit, East Stadium, Room 205, SLU 10329, Hammond, LA 70402. You may also contact us by phone at 985-549-2873, or send a fax to 985-549-3093. On-campus mail delivery should be sent to box 10329.
The Office of Internal Audit is pleased to provide you with an informative video and handbook entitled Internal Control Concepts and Applications. These materials are available for your use as a means to educate the campus community on the importance of internal controls. We believe you will find these materials to be valuable tools in fulfilling your administrative responsibilities.
Southeastern's Office of Internal Audit is a member of the Association of College & University Auditors (ACUA). ACUA's home page contains numerous references concerning the subject of internal auditing.