POLICY FOR UNIVERSITY AND EXTERNAL FISCAL AUDITORS RELATIONSHIPS
Source: Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs
- BACKGROUND SUMMARY
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a public, State-supported institution which participates in a variety of activities funded by external agencies. As such, the institution's records are frequently subjected to review by auditors. This paper is intended to outline policies and procedures for the Internal and External Auditors in the performance of an examination of these records.
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 External Auditors observe certain procedures to facilitate orderly review. The procedures are detailed in the following paragraphs.
External Auditors are assured full cooperation with the Internal Auditor and employees of the area being audited. External Auditors are requested to make an initial contact with the Internal Auditor, who will coordinate all audit activities. The Internal Auditor will ensure that (1) the proper persons are on hand to assist the External Auditors, (2) relevant records are located and available, (3) interviews are scheduled so as to provide minimum disruption of departmental activities, and (4) required facilities and services are available.
- By External Auditor It is anticipated that the audit agency will inform the Internal Auditor of proposed audits. The initial notice given to the Internal Auditor should indicate the scope and purpose of the audit. The Internal Auditor will make the arrangements for an Entrance Conference with the appropriate University officials. All subsequent contacts should be made with the Internal Auditor.
- By Departmental Personnel If any University employee is contacted by an External Auditor without prior notification from the Internal Auditor, the employee should notify the Internal Auditor. The External Auditor should also be requested to make an initial contact with the Internal Auditor.
- By the Internal Audtior The Internal Auditor will notify the Dean of Graduate Studies and, as applicable, the Chancellor and other Division Administrators, the appropriate college Dean, department head, and principal investigator regarding all known aspects of the upcoming review on extramurally sponsored research/scholarly activities projects. For all other audits, the Internal Auditor will notify appropriate University personnel as determined by the nature and scope of the review. The Internal Auditor will personally accompany the External Auditor and introduce him/her to appropriate University personnel. The Internal Auditor will also advise the Director of UW-System Internal Audit whenever audits are scheduled by agencies external to the UW-System.
- ENTRANCE CONFERENCE
The objectives of an Entrance Conference are to establish the purpose, scope, and timing of the audit, the information required by External Auditors, and the physical facilities needed. The Internal Auditor will work with concerned parties to determine who should attend the conference.
- CONTACT DURING ON-CAMPUS AUDITS
After the audit commences and until conclusion, it is important for the Internal Auditor to maintain contact with the Auditor-in-Charge. As requested, the Internal Auditor 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
- Extneral Auditors should request the records required from the Internal Auditor. After appropriate arrangements have been made by the Internal Auditor, the External Auditors should request the records required from the appropriate Department/Office Administrator. External Auditors will be required to document materials requested.
- University personnel will document External Auditor requests. University personnel designated by the Department/Office Administrator in charge of the records will inform External Auditors where to return the records. All refiling will be done by University personnel.
- In cases where it is necessary to remove records from an office, the External Auditors will secure the approval of the Department/Office Administrator. The External Auditors will comply with the office procedures for identifying records removed from the files, including listing and signing for records removed.
- Any problems should be referred to the Internal Auditor.
- USE OF UNIVERSITY COMPUTER FACILITIES
There may be instances where the External Auditors require the use of University computer resources to facilitate an audit. In such cases, the Auditor-in-Charge should transmit his/her request through the Interanl Auditor, describing the need for any programming, system analysis, and computer time in the most specific terms possible. The request should be made sufficiently in advance of need for the sources so that arrangements can be made. It is anticipated that the demand for programming system analysis and computer time will not be excessive. If, in the opinion of the University, such demands are deemed to be excessive, the University reserves the right to deny such requests.
- 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.In some circumstances the University may be asked to make preliminary comments on findings concerning specific transactions. In such cases, External Auditors are expected to provide sufficient information, including reference to specific sponsor policy, identification of specific staff members when used as source, and identification of record source used in findings. The need for this information is to enable the University to adequately review the questions and provide a meaningful response.
In situations where the University and the External Auditors agree that an audit is of limited scope and a formal Exit Conference involving several people is not practical or justified, the External Auditors should notify the Internal Auditor when their field work is completed. In such instances, the External Auditors are requested prior to their departure to review the preliminary findings with the Internal Auditor.
- AUDIT REPORTS AND RESPONSES
A copy of the Audit Report should be sent by the External Auditors to the Chancellor who, in turn, will forward it to the Internal Auditor. The Internal Auditor will, in cooperation with the appropriate division head and other affected personnel, secure comments and coordinate or prepare the University response. A central file of all audit reports, responses, and related correspondence will be maintained in the office of the Internal Auditor. A copy of the report and response will be forwarded to the UW-System Office of Operations Review and Audit.
As amended 4 April 2005