About

Mission and Scope

The mission and scope of the Office of Internal Audits is consistent with the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) definition of Internal Auditing.  Internal Auditing is an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity that is designed to add value to improve the operations of Appalachian State University (the University). The Office of Internal Audits assists the University in accomplishing its objectives through a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the organization's risk management, control, and governance processes.

Also, as a State Agency, the University is required by NC General Statute to establish a program of internal auditing – meeting the requirements of the statute (NC GS 143.79§143-745 through 749) and in compliance with the current Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the IIA. The University has established a program of internal auditing that:

  1. Promotes an effective system of internal controls that safeguards public funds and assets and minimizes incidences of fraud, waste, and abuse.
  2. Determines if programs and business operations are administered in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and other requirements.
  3. Reviews the effectiveness and efficiency of the University and program operations and service delivery.
  4. Periodically audits the University’s major systems and controls, including:
  1. Accounting systems and controls.
  2. Administrative systems and controls.
  3. Information technology systems and controls.

Organizational Relationship

The Office of Internal Audits’ personnel report directly to the Chief Audit Officer. The Chief Audit Officer reports functionally to the Chair of the Audit Committee and administratively (i.e. day to day operations) to the Chancellor. The Chief Audit Officer communicates and interacts directly with the Audit Committee, including in executive sessions and between Audit Committee meetings, as appropriate. This reporting relationship ensures the independence of the Office of Internal Audits, promotes comprehensive audit coverage and assures adequate consideration of audit recommendations.

Reporting and Monitoring

Official reports prepared and issued by the Office of Internal Audits as a result of a formal audit or review are issued to the Vice Chancellor responsible for the area with copies of the reports going to the manager of the area and other senior administrators as appropriate. In addition, a copy of the report and the reply from management is sent to the Chancellor and is presented quarterly to the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees by the Chief Audit Officer.

The Chief Audit Officer serves as the University's liaison with the North Carolina State Auditor. In this capacity, he coordinates and assists with the annual financial audits upon request and is on call to assist with interim audit work during the year as a result of telephone calls to the State Auditor's fraud and abuse hotline and to handle other audit and investigative requests as needed.

The Chief Audit Officer serves as an advisor to the Vice Chancellors and Chancellor on financial and management issues. The Chief Audit Officer also attends meetings of the Board of Trustees.

Authority and Responsibility

The Office of Internal Audits, in the performance of audits and with stringent accountabilities of safekeeping and confidentiality, is granted unrestricted access to all facilities, personnel and records maintained, either electronically or manually, by all units of the university and its affiliated organizations. The Office of Internal Audits also has free and unrestricted access to the Audit Committee.

The Office of Internal Audits is not authorized to perform operational duties for the University, initiate or approve accounting or other transactions external to the internal audit office, nor direct the activities of any university employee not employed by the Office of Internal Audits.

Independence and Objectivity

It is understood that the Office of Internal Audits is independent of the areas audited. Internal auditors must exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the area being audited. Internal auditors must make a balanced assessment of all the relevant circumstances and not be unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming a conclusion. The independence and objectivity of the internal auditing function must be maintained at all times.

Standards

The activity of the Office of Internal Audits is governed by The Institute of Internal Auditors’ mandatory guidance including the Definition of Internal Auditing, the Code of Ethics, and the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards). This mandatory guidance constitutes principles of the fundamental requirements for the professional practice of internal auditing and for evaluating the effectiveness of the internal audit activity’s performance.

Best practice recommendations of ISACA, the Association of College and University Auditors and the National Association of College and University Business Officers are also considered in internal audits and reviews.


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