George Mason UniversityInternal Audit and Management Services

What is Internal Audit?

An independent appraisal activity established within the organization to examine and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of its activities as a service to the organization.

Why Audit?

Without a sound system of controls, errors and omissions can occur and go undetected, and existing controls can be circumvented by an inappropriate concentration of duties. The effectiveness of a control depends upon peoples' willingness to follow it. Internal Audit & Management Services reviews the potential effectiveness of controls at a point in time, and provides specific and actionable recommendations as how business practices can be improved pointing out where controls are weak.

Management Services

Internal Audit also offers the following management services:

  • Consulting
  • Training Seminars for Operational/Departmental Managers

Controls are simply Good Business Practices

An internal control system is a plan of operation that can provide reasonable assurance that:

  • Management data is reliable
  • Assets are accounted for and properly safeguarded
  • Operating practices are sound and ensure compliance with policies, laws, and regulations
  • Resources are used efficiently

A system of control reduces business risk, which is the probability that certain exposure will lead to loss or adverse business conditions. Good control systems include:

  • Individual accountability
  • Independent monitoring
  • Approval and authorization
  • Separation of duties
  • Comprehensive policies and guidelines
  • Joint custody of assets

The Audit Process: A Collaborative Effort

Our objective is to have your continued involvement at every stage, so that you, our client, understand what we are doing and why we are doing it. The process works best when client management and Internal Audit have a solid and constructive working relationship based on clear and continuing communication. Consequently, your involvement is critical at each stage of the audit process.

Although every audit project is unique, the audit process is similar for most engagements and normally consists of the following stages:

Preliminary Survey- includes gathering information about your processes and reviewing and evaluating the existing internal control structure.

Fieldwork- includes informal communications and details examination of transactions, documents, and records.

Audit Report- written report that includes an overall opinion, audit results, recommendations, and action to be taken. Internal Audit solicits comments and suggestions from the client prior to issuing the final report.

Audit Follow-Up- within approximately one year of the final report, a follow-up review is performed to verify the resolution of the audit results.

Improving the Audit Process

Internal Audit is continuously looking for ways to improve the audit process and effectiveness of our services to the university community. At the completion of each audit, a Client Survey is sent to those involved in the audit process. The survey asks for specific feedback about the audit process and management's experiences with the Audit team.

Reporting Relationship

Internal Audit reports functionally to the Chairman of the Audit Committee, Board of Visitors: however, the department reports to the Senior Vice President, Dr Maurice W. Scherrens for the purpose of day-to-day administration of the department.

Mission Statement

Internal Audit is responsible for proactively and independently identifying and assessing key business risks, and improving the quality of controls, operations, strategies, and plans on behalf of students and members of the university.

Contacting Internal Audit and Management Services

Internal Audit is located at 10513 Braddock Road, in the Patriot Square Office Complex. For comments, suggestion, please call 993-3090/3091. We look forward to serving in the future.

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