This charter identifies the mission, responsibilities, scope and authority of the Office of Internal Audit and Advisory Services (Internal Audit) at Georgia College and establishes a framework for complying with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (Standards) promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors.
The overall mission of Internal Audit is to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting services that add value and improve Georgia College (GC) operations. Internal Audit helps GC accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate risk and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. The Definition of Internal Auditing from which this mission is derived is mandatory guidance for Internal Audit.
The GC director of Internal Audit has the responsibility to:
- Develop a flexible audit plan using appropriate risk-based methodology, including any risks or control concerns identified by management and submit the plan for approval to the GC president and associate vice chancellor and chief audit officer (CAO) of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG).
- Implement the approved audit plan and, as appropriate, conduct special projects requested by management or the USG CAO.
- Perform consulting services, first and foremost, to address significant risks as identified through the risk assessment process.
- Keep senior management informed of emerging trends and successful practices in internal auditing.
- Investigate fraud and other types of suspected fiscal misconduct and notify management and the USG CAO of the results in accordance with USG policy.
- Establish and maintain a quality assurance and improvement program by assessing the operation of internal audit activities and obtaining an external assessment in coordination with the USG CAO as required by professional standards.
- Consult with and educate the institution on financial and operational processes, controls, related risks and exposures.
- Review the effectiveness of governance processes to include the promotion of ethical behavior and efficiency of organizational performance management and accountability.
- Maintain a professional audit staff with sufficient knowledge, skills, experience and professional certifications to meet the requirements of this Charter.
- Analyze and review public private ventures undertaken by GC cooperative organizations, as appropriate.
- Provide guidance and advice on control and risk aspects of new policies, systems, processes and procedures.
- Assist with and coordinate on the institution’s Enterprise Risk Management process to facilitate the identification of key institutional risks but without serving as a risk owner.
The scope of work of Internal Audit includes:
- Evaluating the institution’s risks to ensure they are appropriately identified and managed.
- Reviewing the reliability and integrity of financial and operating information and the means used to identify, measure, classify and report such information.
- Determining whether the systems established ensure compliance with those policies, plans, procedures, laws and regulations which could have a significant impact on operations and reporting whether the organization is in compliance.
- Reviewing the means of safeguarding assets and as appropriate, verifying the existence of such assets.
- Assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the institution’s programs, plans and operations.
- Ensuring quality and continuous improvement are fostered in the control process.
Internal Audit must and shall adhere to The Institute of Internal Auditors’ Code of Ethics. The Institute’s Standards must and shall constitute the operating guidance for Internal Audit. The Institute’s Practice Advisories will be adhered to as applicable. In addition, Internal Audit will adhere to GC policies and procedures as well as those of the USG Board of Regents (BOR).
The GC director of Internal Audit has a dual-reporting relationship as stated in the BOR Policy Manual, Section 7.10.2 Internal Audits. Accordingly, the director reports to the GC president and the USG CAO. At any time, the president may request audits or advisory services. The requests are prioritized, added to the audit plan and completed based on available resources and in relation to the relative risk of the request as determined in consultation with the USG CAO. The USG CAO has the authority to direct Internal Audit to audit specific areas at GC as needed. The USG CAO will report material and significant audit issues to the Chair of the Committee on Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance and to the Chancellor.
Authority is granted for Internal Audit to have full, free and unrestricted access to any and all GC records, physical properties and personnel relevant to any function under review. All employees are directed to assist Internal Audit in fulfilling its function. Documents and information reviewed will be handled in the same prudent and confidential manner as by those employees normally accountable for them.
University management is responsible for the risk management and internal control structure over the areas audited. Internal Audit has no direct responsibility or any authority over any of the activities or operation that they review.
Charter last updated April 2014.