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Introduction to. Internal Control Activities. Introduction to Internal Control Activities. Everyone has a role to play with internal control activities! We all have a responsibility. ABOR policy. ABOR policy 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

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introduction to

Introduction to

Internal Control Activities

introduction to internal control activities
Introduction to Internal Control Activities
  • Everyone has a role to play with internal control activities!
  • We all have a responsibility.
abor policy
ABOR policy
  • ABOR policy 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

http://www.abor.asu.edu/1_the_Regents/policymanual/chap6/6-711.pdf

  • ABOR policy 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities” implementation guidelines

http://www.abor.asu.edu/1_the_regents/policymanual/guidelines-protocols/6-711-Guidelines.pdf

who is responsible
Who is responsible?
  • President
  • Chief Financial or Business Officer
  • Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans and Other Management Positions
  • Chief Audit Executive
  • All Employees
    • “All employees are responsible for complying with university and board internal control policies.”

ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities” Implementation guidelines

who is responsible1
Who is responsible?
  • “Adherence to the system of internal control shall be promoted by university management and those in positions of authority who have the responsibility for:
    • Setting expectations for individual accountability for internal control responsibilities, which includes ensuring adequate separation of duties;…
who is responsible2
Who is responsible?
  • …Ensuring employees receive training related to the internal control responsibilities of their positions; and
  • Ensuring these expectations are documented, discussed, monitored regularly, included in annual performance evaluations, and as appropriate, considered in decisions regarding job retention, promotion, and salary adjustment.”
        • ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

Implementation guidelines

how can you meet these expectations
How can you meet these expectations?
  • This training helps you to understand…
    • What are internal control activities?
    • What are the different types?
    • What are you already doing that is a control activity?
how can you meet these expectations1
How can you meet these expectations?
  • Performance appraisals
    • “Carries out internal control activities” added to Personal Accountability for Own Work, Words and Actions
    • “Ensures internal control activities are established and clearly communicates expectations about compliance” added to Supervisory section
what are internal control activities
What are internal control activities?
  • “ …the policies and procedures established and executed to help ensure the action necessary to address risks and assure that the board’s and university’s objectives are effectively carried out.”
          • ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

Implementation guidelines

what are internal control activities1
What are internal control activities?
  • “ …the policies and procedures established and executed to help ensure the action necessary to address risks and assure that the board’s and university’s objectives are effectively carried out.”
          • ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

Implementation guidelines

what are internal control activities2
What are internal control activities?
  • “ …the policies and procedures established and executed to help ensure the action necessary to address risks and assure that the board’s and university’s objectives are effectively carried out.”
          • ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

Implementation guidelines

what are internal control activities3
What are internal control activities?
  • “ …the policies and procedures established and executed to help ensure the action necessary to address risks and assure that the board’s and university’s objectives are effectively carried out.”
          • ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

Implementation guidelines

types of internal control activities
Types of internal control activities
  • Control conscious environment
  • Separation (or segregation) of duties
  • Authorization and approvals
  • Safeguarding records and assets
  • Monitoring and review
control conscious environment
Control conscious environment
  • “The core of any university is its people and the internal control environment tone set by senior management. The people and the control environment are the engine that drives the organization. Their attributes (integrity, ethical values, and competence) and the environment in which they operate set the tone for the organization and determine the sincerity with which the institution embraces the control environment.”
          • ABOR 6-711 “Internal Control Responsibilities”

Implementation guidelines

control conscious environment1
Control conscious environment
  • Examples of activities that contribute to a control conscious environment in your personal life:
    • Aligning access to TV shows and websites with your family’s values
    • Establishing expectations with children
control conscious environment2
Control conscious environment
  • Examples of control activities that contribute to a control conscious environment at NAU:
    • “I have read and understand the Employee/Faculty handbook.”
    • “I have disclosed any and all ownership interest in companies that I am doing business with or proposing to do business with the university and have made my supervisor aware.”
    • “All of my dealings with my supervisor, other employees, vendors, contractors, and all other parties are based on full honesty and fairness.”
control conscious environment3
Control conscious environment
  • Examples of questions to ask yourself to understand if you are (or should be) performing control activities that contribute to a control conscious environment:
    • “Am I familiar with departmental and university policies and procedures that apply to my position?”
    • “Do I understand my job responsibilities, the limits to my authority, my performance standards and expectations, and reporting relationships?”
    • “Do I ask myself these questions before making an ethical decision:
      • Is it legal?
      • Is it fair?
      • How will it make me feel about myself?”
control conscious environment4
Control conscious environment
  • What functions do you perform in your position that support a control conscious environment?
separation of duties
Separation of duties
  • Why separate duties?
    • Reduce the risk of error
    • Reduce the risk of inappropriate action
  • What to separate?
    • Recording a transaction
    • Authorizing a transaction
    • Custody or handling of the related asset
  • “Two sets of eyes”
separation of duties1
Separation of duties
  • Examples of separation of duties in your personal life:
    • A manager must turn a register key when making a return at a store
    • The doctor writes the prescription but it is dispensed at the pharmacy
separation of duties2
Separation of duties
  • Examples of separation of duties at NAU:
    • “Transactions are touched by more than one person.”
      • The supervisor has custody of the master keys. I sign the key out by recording it in a log with my name, date, etc. The supervisor also initials the log. The key is ‘checked in’ in a similar manner.
      • Cash is received by one person, deposited by another, and recorded in PeopleSoft by a third.
separation of duties3
Separation of duties
  • Examples of questions to ask yourself to understand if you are (or should be) performing the separation of duties internal control activity:
    • “Are there at least two sets of eyes on every transaction?”
    • “If I make an error in my work, will someone downstream of me detect it?”
    • “Do I have security access in the information system that will allow me to perform all parts of a transaction without requiring the approval of someone else?”
separation of duties4
Separation of duties
  • What functions do you perform that support separation of duties?
authorization and approval
Authorization and approval
  • What is authorization?
    • Define activities an employee can perform
    • Define transaction parameters
    • Define transactions that require approval
  • What is approval?
    • Verification and validation
    • Review of supporting documentation
    • Evidence of approval
authorization and approval1
Authorization and approval
  • Examples of authorization and approval in your personal life:
    • A signature on a check provides authorization for funds to be withdrawn from a checking account
    • A listing of who is allowed to check out DVDs on your account
    • A signed permission slip for a child’s field trip
authorization and approval2
Authorization and approval
  • Examples of authorization and approval at NAU:
    • “I question what I sign and review the supporting documentation to be sure that the transaction is valid, in line with university and departmental policy and is properly supported by documentation.”
    • “I do not share my password with other people.”
authorization and approval3
Authorization and approval
  • Examples of questions to ask yourself to understand if you are (or should be) performing authorization and approval internal control activities:
    • “Am I clear on the limits to my authority?”
    • “Do I refuse to approve a request if it is not properly supported with documentation?”
    • “Do I have appropriate access to information systems to allow me to only authorize transactions for my area of responsibility?”
authorization and approval4
Authorization and approval
  • What activities do you perform that are authorization or approval functions?
safeguarding records and assets
Safeguarding records and assets
  • How are records and assets safeguarded?
    • Access is physically restricted
    • Assets are periodically counted and compared to records
    • Protect against unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition
safeguarding records and assets1
Safeguarding records and assets
  • Examples of safeguarding records and assets in your personal life:
    • Locking the house when you leave
    • Keeping copies of tax documents, the deed to the house, your social security card in a secure location
    • Keeping breakable items out of the reach of small children
safeguarding records and assets2
Safeguarding records and assets
  • Examples of safeguarding records and assets at NAU:
    • “I lock the door when I leave at night.”
    • “Fire extinguishers are checked regularly and are in working order.”
    • “I perform a physical inventory of my department’s assets and compare it to the records kept by Property Administration. Differences are investigated and resolved.”
safeguarding records and assets3
Safeguarding records and assets
  • Examples of questions to ask yourself to understand if you are (or should be) safeguarding records and assets:
    • “Do I lock my computer when I get up from my desk?”
    • “Are cash and checks kept locked at all times?”
    • “Are all records containing confidential or sensitive information kept in a locking file?”
safeguarding records and assets4
Safeguarding records and assets
  • What activities do you perform that safeguard records and assets?
reconciliation and review
Reconciliation and review
  • What is review and reconciliation?
    • Review and compare information about current performance to benchmarks to measure the extent to which objectives are being achieved
    • Identify reasons for unexpected results
    • Reconcile accounts by comparing different sets of data to one another
    • Document review by signature and date
    • Take corrective action when necessary
reconciliation and review1
Reconciliation and review
  • Examples of monitoring and review activities in your personal life:
    • Reconciling your check register to your bank statement
    • Reviewing credit card statements for erroneous charges
    • Looking at a child’s report card and signing it
reconciliation and review2
Reconciliation and review
  • Examples of monitoring and review internal control activities at NAU:
    • “I reconcile my deposit form to the receipts returned to me by the Bursar’s Office.”
    • “I review long distance telephone usage for my department on a regular basis.”
    • “I complete controls self assessments on an annual basis.”
reconciliation and review3
Reconciliation and review
  • Examples of questions to ask yourself to understand if you are (or should be) performing reconciliation and review internal control activities:
    • “Do I review Business Objects reports and compare my department’s actual financial situation to budget? Do I investigate and resolve unusual items?”
    • “Do I initial and date reports that I have reviewed as evidence that the review was conducted?”
reconciliation and review4
Reconciliation and review
  • What monitoring and review internal control activities do you perform?
who relies on nau s internal controls
Who relies on NAU’s internal controls?
  • Students, parents, alumni, donors, research sponsors
  • Financial institutions, rating agencies
  • Faculty and staff
  • The state of Arizona
  • ABOR
threats to an internal control structure
Threats to an internal control structure
  • Management override
  • Inappropriate access to assets
  • Substance over form
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Failure to anticipate risks
  • Collusion
consequences of internal control failures
Consequences of internal control failures
  • Decreased enrollment
  • Reputational damage
  • Fines
  • Loss of donor confidence and investment
  • Loss of research dollars
  • Inability to secure financing for new initiatives
  • Media publicity
  • Additional ABOR scrutiny
  • Endangerment of students, faculty, staff and the campus
summary
Summary
  • Everyone has a responsibility for internal control activities.
  • Control activities are found in all parts of life – and in every NAU position.
  • Failure of internal control activities can be very detrimental to faculty and staff, the department and to the university.
summary1
Summary
  • Want to know more about internal controls?
  • See something that concerns you?
  • Please contact us!
    • Wendy Swartz
      • Asst. Comptroller – Financial Controls
      • wendy.swartz@nau.edu