The mission of the internal audit function is to provide the Board of Trustees with independent analyses, appraisals and recommendations concerning the adequacy and effectiveness of WISD’s systems of internal control, accuracy of financial records and efficiency of operations.
Purpose of this Charter
The purpose of this charter is to provide a general understanding of the role and responsibilities of the Internal Auditor within WISD.
Scope of Internal Audit Activities
The objective of internal audit is to provide information to the Board of Trustees and employees of WISD to aid them in the effective discharge of their responsibilities. To this end, internal audit furnishes them with analyses, recommendations and information concerning the activities reviewed. The audit objective includes promoting effective control at reasonable cost.
The scope of internal audit encompasses, but is not limited to, objective examinations of evidence for the purpose of providing independent assessments to the Board of Trustees and management on the adequacy and effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes for WISD. Internal Audit assessments include evaluating whether:
- Risk relating to the achievement of WISD’s strategic objectives are appropriately identified and managed
- The actions of WISD’s management, employees, and contractors are in compliance with WISD’s policies, procedures, and applicable laws, regulations, and governance standards
- The results of operations or programs are consistent with established goals and objectives
- Operations or programs are being carried out effectively and efficiently
- Established processes and systems enable compliance with the policies, procedures, laws, and regulations that could significantly impact WISD
- Information and the means used to identify, measure, analyze, classify, and report such information are reliable and have integrity
- Resources and assets are acquired economically, used efficiently, and protected adequately
The internal auditor will report periodically to senior management and the Board of Trustees regarding:
- The internal audit activity’s purpose, authority, and responsibility
- The internal audit activity’s plan and performance relative to its plan
- The internal audit activity’s conformance with the IIA’s Code of Ethics and Standards, and action plans to address any significant conformance issues
- Significant risk exposures and control issues, including fraud risks, governance issues, and other matters requiring the attention of, or requested by, the Board of Trustees
- Results of audit engagements or other activities
- Resource requirements
- Any response to risk by management that may be unacceptable to WISD
Independence and Objectivity
The internal audit activity must be independent and objective. Independence permits the auditor to render the impartial and unbiased judgments essential to the proper conduct of audits. Independence is achieved through organizational status and the auditor’s mental attitude in performing assigned audits. In order to retain the highest degree of independence and objectivity, the internal auditor shall have direct and unrestricted access to the Audit Committee and to the Board of Trustees.
The internal audit activity must be free from interference in determining the scope of internal audit, performing work, and communicating results. (International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing 1110.A1).
The internal auditor should be independent of the activities audited. The internal auditor should be free of all operational and management responsibilities that would impair the internal auditor’s ability to review independently all aspects of WISD’s operations.
The internal audit function is established by the Board of Trustees and its responsibilities are defined by the Board of Trustees. The internal auditor will report functionally to the Board and administratively to the Superintendent. Consequently, goals for the Internal Auditor shall be set by the Board of Trustees.
Per the Institute of Internal Auditors, “Examples of functional reporting to the board involve the board:
Approving the internal audit charter;
Approving the risk based internal audit plan;
Receiving communications from the chief audit executive on the internal audit activity’s performance relative to its plan and other matters;
Approving decisions regarding the appointment and removal of the chief audit executive
Approving the remuneration of the chief audit executive; and
Making appropriate inquiries of management and the chief audit executive to determine whether there are inappropriate scope or resource limitations. “
The internal audit department is authorized to:
- Have unrestricted access to all functions, records (manual or electronic), physical properties and personnel of WISD, relevant to any function under review,
- Have full and free access to the Audit Committee and the Board of Trustees,
- Allocate resources, set frequencies, select subjects, determine scopes of work, and apply the techniques required to accomplish objectives listed in Services Provided, and
- Obtain the necessary assistance of personnel in WISD
The internal auditor is not authorized to:
- Perform operational duties for WISD outside the Internal Audit Department,
- Initiate or approve accounting transactions external to the Internal Audit Department,
- Have direct responsibility or any authority over any of the activities or operations that they examine, and
- Develop and install policies and procedures, prepare records, perform managerial or operational responsibilities, or engage in activities that would normally fall under the scope of their procedures.
Professional Proficiency and Due Professional Care
Internal audit activities should be performed with proficiency and due professional care. The internal auditor is responsible for continuing education and professional development in order to maintain proficiency and technical competence. The internal auditor should be kept informed of improvements and current developments in internal auditing standards, procedures and techniques and should be provided continuing education through membership and participation in professional societies and peer groups; attendance at conferences and seminars; and participation in self-study programs.
The internal auditor should use reasonable audit skill and judgment and exercise due professional care in performing assurance and consulting services. The internal auditor is required to conduct examinations and verifications of the activity under audit to a reasonable extent but is not required to perform detail audits of all transactions. Accordingly, the internal auditor cannot give absolute assurance that noncompliance or irregularities do not exist. Nevertheless, the possibility of material irregularities or noncompliance should be considered whenever the internal auditor undertakes an audit assignment.
It is the responsibility of the department manager or campus administrator to make available to the auditor all financial records, documentation, and access to key individuals that are related to the audit being conducted. The auditor cannot be expected to be completely knowledgeable about all activities, systems, procedures and programs within the organization. The auditor cannot perform the auditor’s duties effectively and within a limited time without full cooperation from the department or area under review.
Quality Assurance and Improvement 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 Standards and an evaluation of whether the internal auditor applies The IIA’s Code of Ethics. The program will also assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal audit activity and identify opportunities for improvement.
The internal auditor will communicate to senior management and the Board of Trustees on the internal audit activity’s quality assurance and improvement program, including the results of internal assessments (both ongoing and periodic) and external assessments conducted at least once every five years by a qualified, independent assessor or assessment team from outside WISD.
The audit schedule will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for review and approval annually. The schedule will list all departments, programs, and activities subject to review within the next audit year. The schedule will be established based on a documented risk assessment, undertaken at least annually. The input of senior management will be considered in the risk assessment process. Changes to the schedule or the assignment of special projects shall be made only with the written approval of the Board of Trustees.
This charter is intended to serve as guidance to the internal auditor in accomplishing responsibilities. The internal auditor will assess, on an annual basis, whether the purpose, authority, and responsibilities, as defined in this charter, continue to be adequate in enabling the Internal Audit Department to accomplish its objectives and to be applicable as the auditing profession and the structure and operations of WISD changes. This Charter has been reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees, Superintendent and Internal Auditor: