Office of Internal Audit

University of Mississippi

Audit Process

  1. Selection (Risk Assessment and Annual Audit Plans)
  2. Notification and Planning
  3. Entrance Conference
  4. Fieldwork
  5. Audit Findings
  6. Draft Audit Report
  7. Exit Conference
  8. Departmental Responses and Plans of Action
  9. Distribution of Report
  10. Post Audit Evaluation
  11. Audit Follow-up

1. Selection:

The audit of most areas (other than special requests) is based on the periodic Risk Assessment. This assessment includes input from management and staff in identifying risks.

Another factor that increases a department’s chances of being audited is not returning information requested by Internal Audit throughout the year (i.e. risk assessment questionnaires, revenue analysis information, etc.). If information needed to rank an areas’ risk is not received, we have no choice but to audit the area to get the information.

2. Notification and Planning:

We will notify you of the upcoming audit and submit a request for information. The auditor assigned to the audit will review any prior audits in your area and the information submitted by the department, research applicable policies and external laws or regulations, and prepare the audit program. The audit program is basically a list of steps that will be performed during the course of the audit. This work will be performed in our office.

3. Entrance Conference:

This is the initial meeting between the departmental director/chair of the area being audited and the auditor(s). In this meeting we explain what we expect to happen in the audit and give you the opportunity to share any concerns that you may have. For example, if you would like us to review a particular process or procedure in your unit, let us know at this meeting and we will try to include it in our audit. This meeting will be held in the department being audited.

4. Fieldwork:

During this process we will interview various departmental employees about their duties related to the areas being reviewed. We will also perform tests to determine the adequacy of various internal controls. It is during these tests that we will determine whether the controls identified during departmental interviews are operating as described. Some of this work will be performed in our office and some in the department under review.

5. Audit Findings:

It is not unusual for one or more deficiencies to be noted during the course of an audit. Most will be relatively minor issues that will require a slight adjustment to a process. The auditor will address each finding and provide a recommendation on how to correct in the audit report. Internal Audit staff are always available to assist departments in any way.

6. Draft Audit Report:

Once the fieldwork is completed, we will draft an audit report which will include observations and recommendations for improvement. There will be a place in this report for departmental responses to be included in the final audit report. This work will be performed in the Internal Audit office.

7. Exit Conference:

Throughout our review we will be open regarding what we find and plan to recommend in the audit report. Normally, many of the recommendations will have been implemented before the report is drafted. During the exit conference, the draft audit report will be presented to the departmental director/chair under review and will be gone over in detail. The departmental director/chair will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns at this point. This meeting will be held in the department being audited.

8. Departmental Responses and Plans of Action:

Once the departmental director/chair receives the draft audit report, he/she will be required to provide a departmental response and plan of action for each observation. This information will be included verbatim in the final audit report.

9. Distribution of Report:

The final report will be distributed to the departmental chair/director of the area under review, his/her immediate supervisor, the division Vice Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance, the Chancellor, and the Audit Committee.

10. Post Audit Evaluation:

As part of our evaluation program, you will be requested to complete a post audit evaluation after the final report is distributed. This feedback will help us to improve our audit procedures.

11. Audit Follow-up:

A follow-up review will be performed several months after the initial audit to verify that recommendations/plans of action have been implemented for all observations. The follow-up audit repeats the normal audit process, but is limited in scope, in most cases, to the findings of the initial audit.