SPECIAL PROJECTS AND MANAGEMENT REQUESTS
The Internal Audit Department often performs review in addition to those specifically
identified in the Audit Plan. These reviews, referred to as special projects,
are usually initiated based on a request by management. They can involve reviews
of specific processes, providing advice or information about an activity or
proposed change, or other agreed upon procedures. Each year the Audit Work Schedule
allocates a block of hours to be used for Special Projects.
Any member of University management can ask the Internal Audit Department to
review a certain area or function. We may also receive requests for reviews
from external groups such as The CHE or the State Auditor’s Office.
Before we accept a project, the Director of Internal Audit will review the
nature of the project, the risk of not performing the review, the affect the
review will have on the current year work plan, and the available time remaining
in the special projects budget. The Director will notify management regarding
whether or not we will perform the review.
Our approach to conducting special projects is similar to that used for a scheduled
audit, though the preliminary survey will typically be less involved. The scope
and objectives of the review will be determined more by what management has
asked us to do than on a fact-finding survey of the major functions and activities
of an area. We will work with management to define the purpose of the project.
Once this process is complete, we will issue an engagement memorandum that
summarizes the scope and objectives of the review. Copies of this memorandum
will be provided to all levels of management who are responsible for the area(s)
where the project will be performed. Special requests that involve an emergency
or requires immediate action will usually be handled as a misuse investigation
(refer to Section 13).
The organization and content of working papers for a special project will depend
on the nature of the review. Most projects will be documented using the working
paper format for regular audits (refer to Section 15), adjusted as needed. For
example, we will not perform all of the steps in the Planning and Preliminary
Survey checklist and there will be no need for a planning memorandum. Small
special projects may be documented informally, through notes to file that summarize
discussions with management and the resolution of issues we were asked to review.
At minimum, the working papers should show how the special project was requested,
its scope or objectives, what procedures were performed, the results of these
procedures, and how the results were communicated. Refer to Section 16 for information
regarding written communication of the results of special projects. A copy of
any notes to file prepared for a small special project should be placed in the
department file of all areas affected by the project.
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