How Audit and Management Services Can Assist With Maintaining Internal Controls
When most people think of auditing, the adjective that comes to mind is "financial". While the financial aspect of auditing is important, the role of Audit and Management Services at JMU is much broader. Our mission is to "assist the management of the University and members of the Board of Visitors in the effective discharge of their responsibilities by furnishing them with objective analysis, appraisals, recommendations, counsel and information concerning the activities reviewed".
Some of the specific ways we assist management with internal controls are as follows:
- Providing Opinions on the Adequacy of Internal Controls - Audit and Management Services conducts audits to evaluate the adequacy of internal controls for major activities or processes at the University. (For an overview of the audit process click here.) At the conclusion of each audit, we give an opinion on controls and present findings and recommendations to help management establish controls or strengthen existing controls. While we may identify past errors or mistakes as part of the audit process, this is not our focus. Instead, we are more interested in helping management increase their effectiveness in the future.
- Advising Departments - Audit and Management Services staff has broad and diverse experience. As a result, we can make practical recommendations to internal control problems that departments encounter. Also, we may know alternative ways of approaching a problem since we have likely seen similar situations. Finally, our staff is familiar with other resources available at the University. Therefore, if we cannot answer a question, we may be able to find the department or individuals who can provide the solution. Please e-mail a staff member or call us at extension 6400 if you have questions.
- Assisting With System Development - Audit and Management Services can help departments that are implementing new systems by suggesting controls that should be present in the systems. This assistance may help prevent problems and ensure that systems will meet established objectives.
- Control Self-Assessment - We have developed the JMU Control Self-Assessment questionnaire to help departments determine whether basic internal controls are in place.
- Providing Reference Materials Related to Internal Controls - We have a video, produced by the Association of College and University Auditors, which covers the basics of internal controls. We will be glad to loan the video to University departments and discuss any questions related to internal controls. In addition, we may be able to provide (or help departments locate) reference materials to assist with a particular internal control issue.
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