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Policy 1301

Internal Auditor: Charter

This charter identifies the purpose, authority, and responsibilities of the office of Internal Audit.

The Longwood University Internal Audit Office reports functionally to the Board of Visitors and administratively to the President.  Performance problems with the Internal Audit Department will be reported by the President to the Board of Visitors immediately.  These reporting relationships ensure departmental independence, promote comprehensive audit coverage, and assure adequate consideration of audit recommendations.

I. Purpose

Internal Auditing is an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity that is guided by a philosophy of adding value to improve the operation of Longwood University.  It assists Longwood University in accomplishing its objectives by bringing a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the University’s risk management, control, and governance processes.  University administration has the primary responsibility for establishing and maintaining a sufficient system of internal controls.  Internal Audit assists University administration in the effective discharge of its responsibilities by furnishing evaluations of departmental activities, recommendations for improvements in systems and procedures, and other information designed to promote effective controls.  The Office of Internal Audit may provide "consulting services" which are advisory services. The nature and scope of the services are agreed upon with Longwood’s management and are intended to add value and improve Longwood’s operations.

II. Responsibilities

Meaningful internal auditing requires cooperation among the Internal Audit Office, University administration, and the auditee.  Each party's responsibilities in this regard include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Internal Audit Office
    1. Examine and evaluate the controls, policies and procedures, and systems in place to safeguard University assets.
    2. Evaluate the reliability and integrity of information, and the efficient and effective use of resources.
    3. Review compliance with policies, procedures, laws and regulations.
    4. Report results and make recommendations to administration and the Board of Visitors.
    5. Assess the university risk management processes and bring any deficiencies or concerns to the attention of appropriate management personnel.
    6. Assist audit planning and scheduling activities with the Auditor of Public Accounts, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, and other external audit or review organizations.
  2. Administration
    1. Support the Internal Audit Office and communicate this support within their units.
    2. Participate in the audit process.
    3. Provide appropriate, clear, and consistent direction to the University community through written policies and procedures.
    4. Follow-up on progress of corrective actions for audit findings within their units.
  3. Auditee
    1. Cooperate with the audit process by providing unrestricted access to facilities, books and records, information, and personnel.
    2. Respond in writing, within 30 days, to all audit recommendations. Disagreements with recommendations or alternative solutions to identified findings are often acceptable. Each response should contain an estimated implementation date and responsible party.
    3. Implement agreed-upon corrective action programs.

III. Authorization

In the course of its work, Internal Audit has full and complete direct access to all University books, records (manual and electronic), physical properties, and personnel relevant to the subject of review.  All documents and information given to Internal Audit during their work will be handled in the same prudent manner that the University expects of the employees normally accountable for them.  The internal audit activity will have free and unrestricted access to the Board of Visitors.

The Internal Audit Office has neither direct responsibility for, nor authority over, any of the activities, functions, or tasks it reviews.  Accordingly, Internal Audit does not develop or write policies or procedures that they may later be called upon to evaluate.  They may review draft materials, developed by management, for propriety and/or completeness.  However, ownership of, and responsibility for, these materials remains with management, not Internal Audit.

IV. Audit Standards And Ethics

The Office of Internal Audit’s activities will be conducted in compliance with Longwood University’s policies and procedures, as well as withthe International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and Code of Ethics promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors.  The office is expected to consistently demonstrate high standards of conduct and ethics as well as appropriate judgment, independence, and discretion.  Members maintain a professional image and protect auditee confidences and confidential information.

V. Selecting And Scheduling Audits

The Director prepares an annual Internal Audit Plan for approval by the Board of Visitors.  Candidate projects come from a risk assessment process, recommendations by senior administration, regular coverage of large functional operations (cashiering, accounts payable, etc), and special requests.

VI. Reporting

All audit work is summarized in timely written reports distributed to an appropriate list of recipients.  In general, reports are distributed to all members of the Board of Visitors, the President, the Vice President responsible for the auditee department, the Auditor of Public Accounts, as well as the auditee, their immediate supervisor, and other department heads affected by audit findings.  Special request reports may have a more limited distribution.

Internal Audit will provide administration with adequate time to prepare responses to audit report findings before distributing the reports to appropriate recipients outside of University management.

A summary of all work performed during the current fiscal year will be prepared and presented to the Board of Visitors on a quarterly basis.

Approved by the Board of Visitors, September 10, 2010.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, December 6, 2013.