Audit Process

From establishing clear audit objectives to conducting post-audit follow-ups, each stage of our engagement work is designed to ensure a thorough, accurate, and beneficial audit. At the beginning of the audit process, AMAS provides management with an introduction to its processes. The Audit Process consists of the following eight steps.

Step 1: Define Audit Objectives

Prior to the audit, AMAS conducts a preliminary planning and information gathering phase. Through this process the audit objectives and scope of the audit are determined. The next step is to develop the audit program and outline the audit testing procedures. 

Step 2: Audit Entrance Meeting

AMAS initially meets with the auditee to discuss the tentative audit scope and subsequent audit steps. At this meeting, the auditee is requested to provide an overview of operations, financial and compliance responsibilities, systems used, associated policies and procedures, and other information that will assist with conducting the internal audit. We also discuss the expected length of time to conduct the audit and ask for the names of other individuals who can provide relevant information.

Step 3: Audit Engagement Memo

Once the audit objectives have been defined, AMAS formally issues a formal audit engagement notice. The purpose of the notice is to introduce the objectives of the audit, outline the planned review process, and set the expectations. The notice distribution list includes management responsible for the area that is being audited and appropriate members of the senior administration.

Step 4: Fieldwork

AMAS gathers information and performs audit testing to gain an understanding of the pertinent internal controls and to determine their effectiveness.  During the audit fieldwork, we periodically meet with responsible managers and where appropriate, perform detailed testing to determine the accuracy of transactions; evaluate compliance with existing university policies and adherence to external regulations. We also evaluate information system related controls for data integrity completeness, and appropriate access. The auditor requests additional information and documents as needed.

  • Risk Assessment -  While conducting each audit, we identify any risks that could negatively impact management’s ability to achieve the objectives associated with their responsibility area or maintain the accuracy of information or transactions performed. These risks are rated within our work papers as High, Moderate or Low after considering the effectiveness of the internal controls that are designed to manage them. 

Step 5: Reviewing and Communicating Results

If AMAS identifies potential control weaknesses, non-compliance with policy or procedures, or other areas of concern during the course of the fieldwork, they are discussed and confirmed with the auditee. Throughout the audit, the auditor will discuss any observations with management to ensure that any identified issue and associated risks are fully understood and obtain agreement on proposed recommendations. The results of the audit, once confirmed, are communicated in the audit report.

Step 6: Audit Exit Meeting

At the conclusion of the fieldwork, AMAS formally meets with management to discuss our observations and audit recommendations that will be included in the formal report. Recommendations are discussed to ensure that they are appropriate and achievable (and in most instances when corrective actions will occur).

Step 7: Audit Report

Management is expected to review the draft audit observations and associated recommendations for accuracy and reasonableness and prepare a formal response and action plan for each observation. AMAS subsequently issues the formal audit report to the identified recipients including appropriate senior leadership. The audit reports are provided three times each year as an executive summary to the Trustee Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.

Step 8: Follow-up Audits

AMAS conducts a follow-up audit within six to twelve months after the original audit was completed to determine the status of management action plans to address any areas identified in the original audit report for improvement. 

Tips for a Smooth Audit

For additional guidance and insights to ensure a seamless audit experience, explore our tips. The tips are based on our experience with and feedback from audits performed in a variety of university departments, service centers.

Explore our tips for a smooth audit process

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the stages of an internal audit.