Audit Services Charter

Introduction

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

Purpose

The purpose of the Office of Audit Services is to provide the Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Board of Regents and the Chancellor an independent appraisal of the adequacy and the effectiveness of the University's system of internal administrative and accounting controls, and the quality of performance when compared with established standards. The primary objective is to assist the Board of Regents, the Chancellor and University management in the effective discharge of their responsibilities.

Role

The mission of the Office of Audit Services is to enhance and protect organizational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice, and insight. The Office of Audit Services is the internal audit activity. The TWU Board of Regents Finance and Audit Committee provides oversight. The Office of Audit Services works to be a trusted advisor to management in the areas of governance, risk management and internal controls.

Professionalism

The internal audit activity will govern itself by adherence to the mandatory elements of The Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Professional Practices Framework, including the Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, The Code of Ethics, the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, and the Definition of Internal Auditing, as well as Generally Accepted Governmental Auditing Standards as required by the Texas Internal Auditing Act. This mandatory guidance constitutes principles of the fundamental requirements for the professional practice of internal auditing and for evaluating the effectiveness of the internal audit activity’s performance.

The Institute of Internal Auditors’ Implementation Guides, Practice Guides, Supplemental Guidance, and Position Papers will also be adhered to as applicable to guide operations. In addition, the internal audit activity will adhere to applicable Texas Woman’s University’s policies and procedures and the internal audit activity’s standard operating procedures manual.

Authority

The internal audit activity, with strict accountability for confidentiality and safeguarding records and information, is authorized full, free, and unrestricted access to any and all of Texas Woman’s University’s records, physical properties, and personnel pertinent to carrying out any engagement. All employees are requested to assist the internal audit activity in fulfilling its roles and responsibilities. The internal audit activity will also have full, free and unrestricted access to the Chancellor and President, and the Board of Regents.

Independence

The internal audit activity will remain free from interference by any element in the organization, including matters of audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content to permit maintenance of a necessary independent and objective mental attitude.

Internal auditors will have no direct operational responsibility or authority over any of the activities audited. Accordingly, they will not implement internal controls, develop procedures, install systems, prepare records, or engage in any other activity that may impair internal auditor’s judgment. Internal auditors may provide assurance services where they have previously performed consulting services provided the nature of the consulting did not impair objectivity, and provided individual objectivity is managed when assigning resources to the engagement.

Internal auditors will exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. Internal auditors will make a balanced assessment of all the relevant circumstances and not be unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming judgments.

The Chief Audit Executive will confirm to the Board of Regents, at least annually, the organizational independence of the internal audit activity and its staff members. The Director of Audit Services is defined as the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) of Texas Woman’s University (per the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing).

Responsibility

The scope of internal auditing encompasses, but is not limited to, the examination and evaluation of the adequacy and effectiveness of the organization’s governance, risk management, and internal controls as well as the quality of performance in carrying out assigned responsibilities to achieve the organization’s stated goals and objectives. This includes:

  • Developing a flexible annual audit plan using appropriate risk-based methodology, including any risks or control concerns identified by senior management, and submit that plan to the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents for review and approval.
  • Executing the annual audit plan as approved.
  • Developing relationships throughout the organization to become a trusted advisor to management on risk management and internal control matters.
  • Maintaining a professional audit staff with sufficient knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and professional certifications
  • Evaluating risk exposure relating to the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives.
  • Evaluating the reliability and integrity of information and the means used to identify, measure, classify, and report such information.
  • Evaluating the systems established to ensure compliance with those policies, plans, procedures, laws, and regulations which could have a significant impact on the organization.
  • Evaluating the means of safeguarding assets and, as appropriate, verifying the existence of such assets.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency with which resources are employed.
  • Evaluating operations or programs to ascertain whether results are consistent with established objectives and goals and whether the operations or programs are being carried out as planned.
  • Monitoring and evaluating governance processes.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the organization’s risk management processes.
  • Evaluating the quality of performance of external auditors and the degree of coordination with internal audit, as applicable.
  • Performing consulting and advisory services related to governance, risk management and control as appropriate for the organization. Such services include management requests, participation on institutional committees, and participation on implementation teams for information technology projects and business process improvements.
  • Evaluating specific operations at the request of the institutional audit committee or management, as appropriate.
  • Ensure that an appropriate internal quality assurance system is in place and take part in a comprehensive external quality assurance review every three years by a reviewer or reviewers independent of the Office of Audit Services.
Accountability

The Director of Audit Services, in the discharge of his duties, shall be administratively accountable to the Chancellor and President and functionally accountable to the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents to:

  • Provide reports on the adequacy and effectiveness of the organization’s processes for controlling its activities and managing its risks in the areas set forth under the Mission and Scope of Work.
  • Report issues related to the processes for controlling the activities of Texas Woman’s University, including potential improvements to those processes, and provide information needed to resolve such issues.
  • Coordinate with the State Auditor’s Office and other external audit entities as necessary.
  • Periodically provide information on the status and results of the annual audit plan and the sufficiency of Office of Audit Services resources.
Quality Assurance Program

The internal audit activity will maintain a quality assurance and improvement program that covers all aspects of the internal audit activity. The program will include an evaluation of the internal audit activity’s conformance with the Definition of Internal Auditing, the Core Principles, and the Standards and an evaluation of whether internal auditors apply the Code of Ethics. The program will also assess compliance with the Texas Internal Auditing Act and the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal audit activity.

The CAE will communicate to the Audit and Finance committee on the internal audit activity’s quality assurance and improvement program at least annually, including results of ongoing internal assessments and external assessments conducted at least every three years.

Page last updated 9:35 AM, May 22, 2018