Policies

9.21 Audits - Policies and Procedures for University Personnel and External Auditors

Purpose

The purpose of this statement is to outline policies and procedures for university personnel and external auditors in the examination of university financial operations.

Policy

It is the policy of the university to cooperate fully with external auditors in the performance of their duties. In exchange, the university requests that auditors observe certain procedures to facilitate orderly reviews. The procedures are detailed in the following paragraphs.

General

Auditors are assured of full cooperation in arranging contracts with university employees who can facilitate their audit. Auditors are requested to arrange all contacts through the University Controller. Advance arrangements will ensure (1) that the proper persons are on hand to assist the auditors, (2) relevant records are located and available, (3) the interview is scheduled so as to provide minimum disruption of departmental activities and (4) required facilities and services are available.

Notifications
  1. By Auditor. It is anticipated that the audit agency will inform the university of proposed audits. Notice should be given to the University Controller. The notice should indicate the scope and purpose of the audit. To facilitate this notice, auditors will be asked to complete a University External Audit Information Form - Sponsored Projects for distribution by the Controller. When an entrance conference is necessary the Controller will make arrangements with appropriate university officials. The audit agency may contact the University Controller by telephone at 319-273-2162.

  2. By Departmental Personnel. If any university employee is contacted by an auditor without prior notification from the Controller, the employee should notify the Controller at 3-2162. The visiting auditor should also be requested to contact the Controller in Gilchrist Hall.

  3. By the Controller. The University Controller will notify the Office of Grants and Contracts, the Vice-President for Administrative Services and the Director of Business Services; and, as applicable, the appropriate college dean, department head and principal investigator regarding all known aspects of the upcoming review. The Controller will personally accompany the auditor and introduce him/her to appropriate university personnel.

Entrance Conference

The objectives of an entrance conference are to establish the purpose, scope and timing of the audit, the information required by auditors, and the physical facilities needed.

Contact During Ongoing Audits

After the audit commences and until conclusion it is important for the Controller to maintain contact with the auditor-in-charge. As requested, the Controller's Office will arrange additional interviews, secure additional required documents, answer questions, and supplement interviewee statements. The purpose of such contact is to expedite the audit and to correct any erroneous information which may have been given inadvertently.

Availability of University Records
  1. Auditors should request from the office supervisor the records required. The office supervisor will inform the auditor as to the best place, time and method of securing records. University personnel will furnish to auditors the records required or assist them in locating the records.

  2. University personnel will inform auditors where to return records. All re-filing will be done by university personnel.

  3. In cases where it is necessary to remove records from an office, the auditor will secure the approval of the supervisor. The auditor will comply with the office procedures for identifying records removed from the files, including listing and signing for records removed.

  4. Any problems should be referred to the Controller.

Availability of Findings and Exit Conferences

The purpose of the exit conference is to inform university representatives of the audit findings, to clarify possible misunderstandings, and to identify the issues that are unresolved. Any formal exit conferences should involve, when available and when appropriate, the Vice-President for Administrative Services, the Director of Business Services, the Controller, the Administrator of Grants and Contracts, and/or the project director.

In some circumstances, the university may be asked to make preliminary comments on findings concerning specific transactions. In such cases, auditors are expected to provide sufficient information, including reference to specific sponsor policy, to enable the university to adequately review the question(s) and provide a meaningful response.

When audits are of limited scope and a formal exit conference involving several people is not practical or justified, the auditors should notify the university Controller when their field work is complete.

Scheduling of exit conferences will be the responsibility of the Controller.

Audit Reports and Responses

A copy of the audit report should be sent by the auditors to the:

  1. President
  2. Vice-President for Administrative Services (Chief Fiscal Officer)
  3. Director of Business Services
  4. Controller
  5. Treasurer

Other copies are sent to various individuals and agencies as appropriate to the subject under audit. Requests for response should be addressed to the President or Vice President for Administrative Services.

Vice-President for Administrative Services