Setting Expectations – An Exciting New Department at Florida Tech – INTERNAL AUDIT

The word “Auditor” can have some negative connotations.  But the new Internal Audit Department at Florida Tech should be viewed in a positive light.  All faculty and staff should have an open mind about the benefits of this new function. Interacting with an Internal Auditor should be just another way we are all working together to make Florida Tech a world class university. We should all strive towards accountability for top performance.

What exactly is Internal Auditing?

Internal Auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve operations. It helps the university accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

How is an Internal Auditor different from an External Auditor?

Internal Auditors are employees of the company they audit. As insiders, they develop an in-depth understanding of the business culture, systems, and processes. In contrast, External Auditors visit many companies every year and are often focused on verifying the standardized presentation of the financial state of the university. Internal Auditors are not just focused on financial reviews; instead their focus revolves around a variety of risks and controls. Internal Audits usually focus equitably on Financial, Operational, and Compliance elements.  The Internal Audit activity provides assurance that internal controls in place are adequate to mitigate the risks, governance processes are effective and efficient, and organizational goals and objectives are met.  The presence of Internal Auditors does not replace the need for the university to engage External Auditors who are uniquely independent and are experts on specific accounting and tax pronouncements relevant to financial statements.

What types of tasks might the Internal Auditor department perform?

Confirm compliance with laws, regulations, policies, and contracts. Benchmark performance. Suggest ways for reducing costs, enhancing revenues, and improving profits. Encourage efficiency and effectiveness. Share ideas for best practices that reduce errors and fraud. Ensure segregation of duties so that assets are safeguarded. Deliver consulting, assurance, and facilitation services. Assess ethics, quality, and cost-benefit. Assure that controls exist to mitigate risks. Use audit technology tools to analyze data for reliability and anomalies. …Such diversity gives internal auditors a broad perspective on the organization. And that, in turn, makes internal auditors a valuable resource to management and the board in accomplishing overall goals and objectives, as well as in strengthening transparency and organizational governance.

If I’m visited by an Internal Auditor- should I fear disciplinary actions, such as losing my job?

Fear should never guide your interactions with an Internal Auditor.  Answering an Internal Auditor’s questions helps encourage transparency throughout our organization. More than likely, you will probably walk away with some new ideas from the Internal Auditor about how to make your job easier and more efficient. The goal of an Internal Audit is not necessarily to focus on problems, but to discover improvements that we can all benefit from.  When the university does well, we all indirectly profit from better university performance.

What if I want more information about Internal Auditing?

We are here to help! Please reach out to the Internal Auditor if you have questions, comments or suggestions. The Internal Auditor could be someone to contact with concerns related to fraud, waste, and abuse you may be aware of at the university.  Our new Internal Auditor is Alison Bogart who has 10+ years of experience in audit, risk, and controls. She has 3 Internal Audit related certifications: Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and Certified Internal Auditor. Read more about the Internal Audit profession at http://tiny.cc/AboutInternalAuditors . The Florida Tech Internal Auditor can be reached at 8229 or abogart@fit.edu