Internal Audit Process

  • 1. Planning
    Each school year, the internal audit director performs a risk assessment of City Schools' operations, activities and schools. The assessment considers factors such as City Schools goals and objectives; financial implications; adequacy of internal control processes and procedures; prior audit findings; significant changes in operations, systems or personnel; complaints; operational concerns expressed by the Board or CEO; and availability of internal audit resources. An annual audit plan is then developed by the audit director and approved by the Board. The plan documents audit methodology and a comprehensive overview of the scope of coverage of City Schools' operations and activities. The plan is executed to assist the Board in fulfilling their oversight duties relating to specific compliance with Maryland Education Article Sections 4-303.

    2. Notification
    The CEO is notified directly of all upcoming internal audits through an internal announcement (via email) from the audit director, with copies to the chief of staff and responsible officer. The officer shall inform appropriate staff.

    3. Introductory meeting
    An introductory meeting between Internal Audit management, the responsible officer and designated members of management is coordinated and scheduled through the chief of staff's office. The purpose of an introductory meeting is to discuss the audit scope and objectives, obtain an overview of the department, identify key departmental personnel for further discussions and provide an opportunity for management to discuss issues or areas that may require audit attention.

    4. Preliminary survey
    The assigned audit staff will review the department’s internal control structure using a variety of tools and techniques to gather and analyze information about the department’s operations. The review helps the auditor better understand the department operations and determine areas with high risks.

    5. Field work — Testing
    This phase concentrates on the testing of critical procedures and transactions performed by the department on a regular basis. The auditor determines whether the controls identified during the preliminary survey are operating properly through testing.

    6. Communication
    Internal Audit management may provide periodic written updates to the CEO, chief of staff and responsible officer concerning the audit status, including audit progress, preliminary findings or issues, problems encountered and projected completion.

    7. Audit findings and recommendations
    To ensure internal audit findings and recommendations are presented accurately, Internal Audit staff discusses and validates findings with responsible personnel and management. The goal is to ensure an accurate understanding of issues that were identified during the audit.

    8. Draft report
    At the close of field work, the audit manager along with the audit director will review all findings, recommendations and supporting documentation in detail. A draft report is issued directly to the CEO, with copies to the chief of staff and responsible officer.

    9. Exit meeting
    Within a week after the draft report is issued, an exit meeting between Internal Audit management, the responsible officer and designated members of management will be coordinated and scheduled through the chief of staff's office. The purpose of an exit meeting is to clarify the draft report findings and recommendations and allow for management's feedback.

    10. Management response to audit findings and recommendations
    The responsible officer is required to respond, in writing, to the draft report findings and recommendations within 10 business days after the exit meeting, in accordance with the (Board policy EAA). Written responses to audit findings and recommendations will not be accepted without the chief of staff's approval. In the event the 10-day deadline must be extended, the audit director will inform the Board's Audit Committee.

    11. Final report
    The audit director will review management's written responses to determine if responses adequately address the risks and recommendations associated with the findings. When determined, a final report is prepared and distributed to the CEO, chief of staff, responsible officer, chief legal counsel and members of the Board's Audit Committee. The final audit report is for internal use only.

    12. Follow-up review
    A follow-up review may be performed to verify the resolution of the audit findings. Corrective actions described to resolve the findings may be tested to ensure results were achieved.