Internal Audit Charter
The Internal Auditor provides the Audit & Compliance Committee, the Board of Governors and the Senior Management with information to:
- Meet their duties for oversight responsibility,
- Foster continuous improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of systems and processes, and
- Safeguard assets.
The Internal Auditor’s role is to be an independent, objective, assurance and consulting function that adds value and improves operations at Wilfrid Laurier University. The Internal Auditor assists the University in accomplishing its objectives by applying a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluate the adequacy, efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s risk management, financial and operational internal controls, and governance processes.
II Accountability and Responsibilities
1) Develop an annual audit plan approved by the Audit & Compliance Committee
- Utilize a risk based approach to select audit areas based on resources available
- Consult with and obtain advice from the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors/Senior Management to determine priority
- Obtain plan approval from the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors
- Provide regular updates to the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors on the status of the annual audit plan
2) Execute approved audits in an independent and objective fashion
- Develop an audit plan in consultation with the Audit & Compliance Committee and/or senior management including appropriate procedures
- Execute the audit based on the objectives set and procedures selected
- Report results and recommendations to the Audit & Compliance Committee and other appropriate parties
- Conduct follow up discussions and procedures with the appropriate parties to determine if improvement has occurred after an agreed upon passage of time
3) Provide assurance to the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors with respect to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
- Coordinate, maintain and update the Enterprise Risk Management Plan for the institution to ensure that Senior Management can effectively manage risk
- Present progress and results of ERM plan to the Audit and Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors on a periodic basis
- Educate and provide advice to appropriate levels of management with respect to Risk Management
4) Provide assurance to the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors with respect to Legislative Compliance
- Coordinate, maintain and update the Legislative Compliance Report, and present to the Audit & Compliance Committee annually
- Educate and provide advice to appropriate levels of management with respect to Legislative Compliance
5) React to special requests from Management/Board of Governors
- Provide value-added consultative advice to University management in regard to designing, implementing and enhancing internal controls
- Undertake specific audit reviews based on concerns raised by Management/Board of Governors in certain areas
- Report findings and perform appropriate follow up procedures as required
- Attend all meetings of the Board of Governors, Audit & Compliance Committee, and when applicable, the meetings of the other relevant Board Committee meetings to stay abreast of governance level concerns at the university
6) Provide assistance to external auditors
- Perform procedures to assist the university’s external auditors in completing the yearend financial statement audit of the University
- Assist with other submissions and reporting requirements
- Provide additional ad-hoc assistance to external auditors based on specific areas of concern identified
7) Perform appropriate amount of professional development, training and networking initiatives
- Maintain an active membership with the Canadian University Internal Auditors group to share ideas and obtain information as required
- Attend bi-annual meetings of the Ontario University Internal Auditors group to stay abreast of emerging issues and best practices related to internal auditing in a university environment
- Perform technical reading on areas such as internal control, current accounting and auditing standards, risk management and legislative compliance
- Attend seminars/conferences on relevant topics
8) The Internal Auditor is not authorized to:
- Perform any operational duties for the University
- Initiate or approve accounting transactions external to the Internal Audit department
- Direct the activities of any organization employee not employed by the Internal Audit department, except to the extent such employee has been appropriately assigned to auditing team or to otherwise assist the Internal Audit department.
Internal Auditor will report administratively to VP Finance & Administration, and functionally to the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors. This dual reporting structure enables the Internal Auditor to maintain his / her independence and objectivity.
Administrative reporting facilitates the operations of Internal Audit which includes approving resource allocations (human and financial), completing performance evaluations, providing an effective flow of communications and information, and ensuring that Internal Audit accomplishes its mission within the context of the University.
Functional reporting provides the source of independence. The Audit & Compliance Committee approves the Internal Audit policy and annual work plan, oversees the appointment, replacement or dismissal of the head of Internal Audit, and ensure the internal audit function has direct access to the Audit & Compliance Committee.
IV Access to Information
Internal Audit has the authority to audit all parts of the University and shall have full and complete access to all information, records, facilities and personnel relevant to the performance of an audit. Documents and information given to internal auditors during a review will be handled in the same manner as the employees normally accountable for them.
V Professional Standards
Internal Auditor staff will adhere to the standards of their professional designation and to the Institute of Internal Auditors Code of Ethics, so that their integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and competency are not open to question.
This Policy shall be reviewed by the Audit & Compliance Committee of the Board of Governors according to University guidelines.
Updated: January 2012