Policy 1301: Internal Audit Charter
This charter identifies the purpose, authority, and responsibility of the Office of Internal Audit.
I. Purpose and Mission
The purpose of Longwood University's Office of Internal Audit is to provide independent, objective assurance and consulting services designed to add value and improve the University's operations. Internal Audit assists the University in accomplishing it's objectives by bringing a systemic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management control, and governance processes. The mission of Internal Audit is to enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk based and objective assurance, advice and insight.
II. Authority and Reporting Structure
The Office of Internal Audit reports functionally to the Board of Visitors and administratively to the President. The Director of Internal Audit will have free and full access to the Board of Visitors Audit Committee. These reporting relationships ensure departmental independence, promote comprehensive audit coverage, and assure adequate consideration of audit recommendations. With strict accountability for confidentiality and safeguarding records and information, Internal Audit has complete and direct access to all University records, physical properties, and personnel relevant to the subject of the review.
III. Independent and Objectivity
All Internal Audit activities shall remain free of influence form any element in the organization, including audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content. The Director of Internal Audit and the audit staff shall have no direct operational responsibility or authority over any of the activities reviewed. Accordingly, Internal Audit shall not develop or install systems or procedures, prepare records, or engage in any other activity which would be audited. The Director of Internal Audit shall not direct the activities of any University employee not employed by the Internal Audit function except to the extent that such employee has been appropriately assigned to Audit teams or to otherwise assist the internal auditors.
The Director of Internal Audit and the audit staff will sign an annual conflict of interest and confidentiality statement to disclose any situation that may impair their objectivity. Any impairment of independence or objectivity, in fact or appearance, shall be disclosed to appropriate parties. The Director of Internal Audit and the audit staff will exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. Auditors will make balanced assessments of all available and relevant facts and circumstances and not be unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming judgments. The Director of Internal Audit will confirm to the Board of Visitors Audit Committee, at least annually, the organizational independence of the Internal Audit activity.
IV. Scope of Internal Audit Activities
The scope of Internal Audit activities encompasses objective examinations of evidence for the purpose of providing independent assessments to the Board of Visitors Audit Committee, management, and outside parties on the adequacy and effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes. The Office of Internal Audit's assessments include evaluating whether:
The Director of Internal Audit and the staff have the responsibility to:
VI. Audit Standards, Ethics, and Core Principles
All audit work meets the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and Code of Ethics promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors. Generally accepted auditing standards promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and government auditing standards issued by the United States General Accounting Office will be referenced as appropriate.
Internal Audit staff is expected to consistently demonstrate and maintain high standards of conduct, professionalism, independence, and character in order to administer proper and meaningful internal auditing within the University. In addition, Internal Audit's activities and conduct shall be consistent with the policies of the University.
Internal Audit staff is expected to comply with the Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing as follows:
VII. Quality Assurance and Improvement Program
The Office of Internal Audit will require an external quality assurance review by an independent party at least once every five years. Quality assurance is essential to maintaining an internal auditing department's capability to perform its functions in an efficient and effective manner. In addition, the review is important in achieving and maintaining a high level of credibility with the Board of Visitors, the President, management, and others who rely on the work of the Office of Internal Audit.