The Internal Audit function is an independent appraisal activity established within an organization to examine and evaluate its activities as a service to the organization. It functions by examining the adequacy and effectiveness of controls.
The objective of Internal Auditing is to assist management in the effective discharge of their responsibilities. To this end, the Internal Audit function furnishes management with analyses, appraisals, recommendations, counsel, and information concerning activities reviewed to promote effective control at a reasonable cost.
Internal Audit reports administratively to the Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs; however, it may report audit matters directly to the Chancellor and/or to the Board Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees. In the performance of audits, the Internal Auditor is granted access to all college activities, records, property, and employees. The Internal Auditor will exercise discretion and ensure the safekeeping and confidentiality of audit matters.
Internal Audit is a staff function and has no direct operational responsibility for or authority over any of the activities reviewed. Accordingly, they shall not develop nor install systems or procedures, prepare records, or engage in any other activity which would normally be audited. Additionally, an Internal Audit review in no way relieves management of any assigned responsibilities.
The Internal Auditor is assigned the responsibility for carrying out an Internal Audit program as described under the section “Responsibilities of Internal Audit" of this Charter. This responsibility includes coordinating Internal Audit activities with the organization's external auditors and others to best achieve organizational and auditing objectives.
All requests for special (unscheduled) audits will be directed to the Internal Audit Department.
All internal audit activities shall remain free of influence by any element in the organization, including matters of audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content to permit maintenance of an independent and objective mental attitude necessary in rendering reports.
The Internal Audit function has the following responsibilities:
- Develop a flexible annual audit plan using an appropriate risk-based methodology, including any risks or control concerns identified by management, and submit that plan to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs for submission to the Board Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees for review and approval.
- Maintain a professional audit staff with sufficient knowledge, skills, experience and technical competence through continuing education and active participation in professional activities.
- Examine and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the College’s system of internal controls, policies and procedures, and systems in place to safeguard college assets.
- Evaluate the reliability and integrity of information, and the efficient and effective use of resources.
- Ensure compliance with applicable policies, procedures, laws, and regulations which could have a significant impact on College operations and reports.
- Review operations or programs to ascertain whether results are consistent with established goals and objectives and whether the operations or programs are being carried out as planned.
- Participate in or conduct evaluations, financial and management studies, special audits and fraud investigations as directed.
- Conduct follow up reviews, as needed, on audit reports issued by the San Jacinto College District Internal Audit Department and other external agencies.
- Issue periodic reports to the Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs, Chancellor and Board Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees summarizing the status and results of audit activities.
- Consider the scope of work of the external auditors and regulatory agencies, as appropriate, to provide optimal audit coverage to the College at a reasonable overall cost.
The following are the procedures to be adhered to when carrying out the Internal Audit function:
- An annual audit plan will be established after conducting an annual risk assessment, securing input from the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs and obtaining approval of the plan from the Board Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees.
- Advance notice to each department to be audited will be provided.
- An opening meeting with the leaders of the unit being audited will be conducted to discuss the nature of the audit, length of engagement and to coordinate the timing of review by area. Internal Audit will review the proposed audit scope with functional leaders to ensure proper and thorough audit coverage.
- The audit program will be finalized and the audit steps performed. Findings noted during the audit will be communicated to the auditee and Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs throughout the course of the audit.
- A written, draft Audit Report will be prepared by Internal Audit following the conclusion of the audit. This draft Audit Report will be provided to the auditee for their review during the exit conference.
- An exit meeting will be held to discuss the written audit findings with the appropriate management in order to come to a consensus on the accuracy of the findings and recommendations for improvements. Any revisions agreed upon will be included in the final report. The auditee’s corrective action plans, including estimated dates of completion for actions to be taken, and an explanation for any recommendations not addressed will be included in the final report.
- Copies of the final report will be distributed as appropriate.
- Leadership of the area receiving the report is responsible for ensuring that progress is made toward implementing their corrective action plans. If leader proposes alternative actions other than the recommendations provided by Internal Audit, it is incumbent upon these leaders to ensure that these alternative actions mitigate the risks identified.
- Internal Audit will perform follow-up reviews, as deemed necessary.
Internal auditors should use reasonable audit skill and judgment and exercise due professional care in performing every audit. Internal auditors are required to conduct examinations and verifications of the activity under audit to a reasonable extent, but is not required to perform detail audit testing of all transactions. Accordingly, internal auditors cannot give absolute assurance that noncompliance or irregularities do not exist. Nevertheless, the possibility of material irregularities or noncompliance should be considered whenever internal auditors undertake an auditing assignment.
The activities of Internal Audit will meet The Institute of Internal Auditors’ Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and Code of Ethics. Internal Audit will also abide by generally accepted government auditing standards and applicable college district policies and procedures.
The Internal Auditor should periodically assess whether the purpose, authority, and responsibility, as defined in this charter, continue to be adequate to enable the internal auditing activity to accomplish its objectives. The result of this periodic assessment should be communicated to the Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Affairs, Chancellor and the Board Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees.