:: Internal Audit Frequently Asked Questions
TopWhat is the purpose of the Internal Audit Division website?

Audit Images“Audit” almost invariably has a negative context to it – it comes from several sources such as:

  • Fear
  • Lack of understanding
  • Hearsay

It is mostly a matter of perspective, approach and attitude.

These web pages are here to help make individuals whose departments are being reviewed (“audited”) more comfortable with our office and the work being completed by our staff. We want to make the audit experience less fearful and more helpful to departments/divisions in the City government. A department/division being reviewed should look at an audit as a learning experience and an opportunity to enhance their operations and the City services as a whole.

TopHow did I get selected?

There are several ways a department could be chosen for an audit. The Internal Audit Division uses a modified risk-based approach in the determination of which departments/functions to audit during a given fiscal year. Some of the factors that are used in the evaluation are:

  • Complexity of the department, volume of transactions, etc.
  • Cash income/revenue of the department each year
  • Other types of income/revenue
  • Quantity of State/Federal grants
  • State/Federal regulations related to the department
  • Management concerns
  • Percentage of turnover of key personnel in the last year

In addition, City Management may request an audit for various reasons, such as suspicion of fraud, review of operational procedures, or assessment of key controls in specific functions/programs. These special requests are usually worked into our annual audit plan as soon as practical.

TopWhat can I expect during an audit?
There are several steps in performing an audit. First, the Internal Audit Division will send an introduction letter to the Director of the department. The letter states that an audit will be forthcoming and that we will be in touch shortly. Next, we set up an entrance meeting where the key members of the department are introduced to the auditor. This meeting is usually a forum for Internal Audit to gain an understanding of key processes in the department and go over how much time the audit may take, whether or not we will need space provided for us during the audit, and to go over any additional concerns of department management.

Once the entrance meeting has been held, the auditor will be in contact with the key personnel for interviews. The interview process is to allow us to gain an understanding of each key process in the department. Once the processes have been defined and documented, we will perform test work to ensure controls are in place to adequately safeguard City assets, etc. After all test work has been completed, the results of the audit are communicated to the key personnel for discussion. Finally, a draft report will be prepared and sent to the department, along with a request for a response to specific findings. Once the findings have been addressed, a final report will be sent.

Click here to see the Audit Process.

TopHow can I prepare for the audit?

Before our office comes to perform an audit an introduction letter is emailed. This email requests some information that will help the audit go smoothly. Typically, we request:

  • an organization chart
  • copy of policies/procedures for the function/program to be reviewed
  • key contact names
  • list of systems/applications used in the function/program to be reviewed 
In addition, it is helpful if the staff in the department can be notified of the impending audit and let them know that we are here as a business partner to help assess the operating controls in the department. Let the staff know they should be available to talk with us and to cooperate in getting information, etc. This will ensure the audit will go smoothly and wrap up in a timely manner.

Click here to see Tips and Tools.
TopHow much time will you require to complete your review?
Our length of review can vary with every engagement. Things that may factor into the length of our review of your department can include the following: (1) the amount of resources your office can supply to us during our review; (2) the nature/complexity of what is being reviewed; and (3) the complexity of department/division operations. There is no standard time we can put on a review; however, a standard operational review can generally last approximately six to eight weeks.
TopWho else will see my audit report?
The audit report is first sent to the department Director in draft format for review and response. Once the draft is agreed upon, the final report is sent to the department Director, the City Manager and the Assistant City Managers. In some instances, the CIO and Legal may be copied on the report. The report is not accessible via the web site. At his discretion, the City Manager may share the report with the City Council.
For more information, call the Internal Audit Division at 951-826-2372.
Standards Federal Rules & Regulations Associations