Audit Notifications – External and Internal Audits

University of Alaska units may, at any time, be the subject of an audit from either internal or external auditors, or both. External auditors may be from state or federal agencies, or a contracted party. Some examples of external audits are:

• The annual financial audit performed by the external auditors under contract with the university
• The annual federal single audit performed by the university’s external auditors under contract with the university
• A review of grant management practices by the National Science Foundation
• A review of travel processes by the State of Alaska Division of Legislative Audit

An audit may be initiated due to statutory or contractual provision, by a request or referral, or as a result of a complaint or other communication. Types of audits include financial, compliance, program, federal, or specialized purpose (for example: fraud, ethics or abuse investigation, research compliance, or an information technology review).

Most internal audits are regularly scheduled audits, meaning they were included in the annual audit plan that was presented to the Board of Regents Audit Committee for approval. See Annual Risk Assessment and Audit Plan Development for more details.

Initial Audit Contact

Regularly scheduled audits are generally announced to the units during audit planning. Unannounced cash counts may be performed by internal or external auditors as part of their planned audit program. Investigations are often conducted with limited notification.

In the event of contact by an auditor, the unit of contact should request identification that indicates the agency or organization name. A letter of engagement (also known as an entrance letter) with the auditor's name should be provided. Never release or provide access to any records without obtaining confirmation of identity and purpose. The identification process should go one step further if an auditor arrives for an unannounced cash count. Compare the auditor’s business card to photo identification prior to granting access to funds.

As soon as feasible after initial contact with an external auditor, unit administration must contact Audit and Consulting Services to ensure proper coordination and reporting of audit activities. Initial requests or engagement letters from external auditors should be copied to Audit and Consulting Services.

External Auditors

The University cooperates with and assists external auditors or investigators whose responsibilities involve examination and confirmation of University transactions and operations. As part of the coordination process and through Board of Regents Policy 05.03, Audit and Consulting Services serves as liaison between central administrative offices, University departments, and external auditors or investigators.

In most cases, an internal auditor may attend the entrance and/or the exit meeting/conference with the department and external auditor. Preliminary comments or response to specific audit findings may be required by University personnel. The unit is to coordinate with Audit and Consulting Services the response to any findings communicated in audit memorandums or reports.

If there are questions or concerns while working with external auditors, please feel free to contact Audit and Consulting Services.