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Risk Management and Internal Audit

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

What is internal auditing?

While particular responsibilities and activities vary among institutions, the fundamental purpose of internal auditing is to provide an independent, objective assurance designed to add value and improve an institution's operations. The internal audit function is also a consulting activity that contributes to the effectiveness of controls. Management is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the controls.

What is the difference between external and internal auditors?

An internal auditor is an employee of the University who serves the needs of the institution. An internal auditor is appointed by management and conducts audits and gives advice throughout the year. External auditors are independent contractors that serve the needs of third parties who require reliable financial information. External auditors are appointed by the Audit and Risk Management Committee and report to the Executive, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal and the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

What is the authority of the internal auditors and who do they report to?

The internal auditors receive authority from the Audit and Risk Management Committee of Council, who grants them access to all personnel and records.

The Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit reports administratively to the Executive Director and functionally to the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Internal audit reports are confidential and copies thereof are disclosed to the external auditors and to those other University personnel who, by the virtue of their position in the University, need to know.

The Internal Audit Function reports to the Audit and Risk Management Committee twice per annum on the results of Internal Audits conducted, indicating any significant audit findings.

How long does an audit take? 

The length of time it takes to complete an audit may vary, depending on the scope of the audit and the size of the department/faculty/function that needs to be audited. The audit process is dynamic and can change as more information comes to light.

What are the benefits of an audit to my Department/Faculty?

The main aim of an internal audit is to add value to the various departments/faculties and the institution as a whole. An assessment of the control environment will be made so that problems are identified and corrected in order for the department/faculty to reach its goals. The Department of Risk Management and Internal Audit is uniquely qualified to assist departments/faculties and has extensive exposure to different departments/faculties, which provides them with an opportunity to relate their experience to any department/faculty that is being audited.

How can I best help the auditors during an audit?

The internal auditors will describe the main aim and objectives of the audit during the entrance conference. The internal auditor will also give an indication of the information that will be needed and assistance in this regard will ensure an effective and efficient audit. Should you be concerned about the nature of the information requested, please feel free to contact the Director of Risk Management and Internal Audit.