Follow-up Auditing

An audit is officially closed after all of the recommendations have been recommended for closure through the follow-up audit process. The final audit report that is distributed to the Board of Regents Audit Committee includes the chancellor or vice president’s formal response consisting of the plan of action and implementation deadline for each recommendation in the report.  Audit and Consulting Services will use the implementation deadline to determine when follow-up procedures should be conducted. Sometimes we need to wait for an appropriate duration of time beyond the implementation deadline in order to have enough data on which to perform follow-up procedures.  See below for the most frequently asked questions in regards to follow-up auditing.

Audit standards require that a follow-up process is implemented to monitor the disposition of audit results and ensure that action plans have been effectively implemented. Our professional goal is to conduct follow-up auditing in a timely manner and report on the results.
There are two primary objectives for follow-up auditing:

1. Was the recommendation implemented as described in the plan of action submitted by the chancellor or vice president?

2. Did the recommendation and plan of action result in the intended effect of mitigating the risk that had necessitated the recommendation in the first place (in other words, is the recommendation operating as intended?)

Each fiscal year we schedule follow-up auditing for recommendations that have follow-up due based on their implementation deadline. We will:

1. Distribute an entrance letter to each chancellor or vice president that communicates our intent to conduct follow-up audit procedures throughout the fiscal year.

2. Contact the respective associate vice chancellor or vice president to notify them regarding which prior audits have recommendations on which follow-up will occur and the approximate timing of our follow-up activities.

3. As follow-up activities progress, each department head is notified as relevant to the recommendations and plans of action. Along with notification the auditor usually requests information such as:

a. A written update on the status of implementation of the recommendation.

b. Documentation that validates the recommendation was implemented.

We can often accomplish this from the office via telephone and email communications, but we also value face-to-face meetings when they can be arranged. We take your time into consideration, so please let us know what will work best for you.

Results of follow-up auditing are reported to the department head, vice chancellor or vice president, chancellor and president. They are also presented to the Board of Regents Audit Committee at their regularly scheduled meetings. The Audit Committee usually meets each year in June, September, December and April. This process provides assurance to the Audit Committee that recommendations receive an appropriate level of attention by management and are implemented in a timely manner.

On occasion we conduct follow-up activities and discover that a department has undergone staffing or process changes that resulted in a recommendation that was not implemented. In this situation, we report that we followed-up with the department but that circumstances prevented us from recommending closure and that follow-up audit activities will be rescheduled for another date in the future.

Too many instances of this can reflect negatively upon the department unless reasonable explanations are provided, usually resulting from extenuating circumstances that are not likely to be repeated.

If you are leading a department or have responsibility for a function or process that was audited, you will receive a copy of the final audit report that describes the audit results, formal plans of action submitted by your chancellor or vice president, and implementation deadlines. If you’re unsure as to which recommendations remain in an open status, thus eligible for follow-up auditing activities, please do one of the following:

1. Contact the associate vice chancellor for administrative services (UAA, UAF) or the vice chancellor for administrative services (UAS). They have taken an active role in monitoring audit recommendations for their respective campuses.

2. Contact Audit and Consulting Services.