Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does a typical audit take?

Audits can vary in length depending on the nature of the engagement and the size of the department.  Most audits are allotted 6 - 12 weeks to complete.

2. What kind of information will you ask me for?
Depending on the type of audit, we will ask for different types of information. For a business admin review of your department, we will ask for timesheets, leave slips, and any documented policies and procedures within your department.
Internal Audit will schedule interviews, typically with multiple people within the department.  We will ask about processes and procedures, and we will ask you to forward documentation of those processes to us following the interview.

3. Where can I learn more about the Internal Audit profession?

There are many resources available to learn more about being an internal auditor! The UNC Charlotte internal audit website has a lot of information.  You can also go to the Institute of Internal Auditors website to learn more.

Also - feel free to stop by our offices in Cato Hall on the third floor! Any auditor would be glad to sit with you and answer your questions.

4. Do you hire student workers?

Yes we do! We participate in the University Professional Internship Program (UPIP) and hire one intern per semester.  Look at their website for more information; you can also come by our office in Cato Hall on the 3rd floor to talk to us.

5. Can I ask Internal Audit for assistance when I am not being audited?

Definitely!  The purpose of internal controls and procedures is to mitigate risk. Developing and designing management controls into operations early is the most cost effective and efficient use of resources.  Auditors do not wish to audit systems that are known to be dysfunctional; their role is to provide guidance and recommendations, not to just report on the obvious or known problems but to strengthen the ability of units to meet their operational and administrative goals. Give us a call to set up an advisory or consulting service engagement.

6. What is the difference between a process and a control?

“A process step is a task, activity… that moves an input closer to the final objective.”

  • The department admin collects timesheets and files them
  • The office submits the reimbursements to the Travel Office within 30 days
  • Faculty members send an email requesting supplies and they are stored in a locked cabinet

“An internal control… is a critical step within the process that leads to the success of the entire process.”

  • Supervisors review timesheet submissions monthly to ensure they were completed on time
  • Supervisors review and approve all travel reimbursements for accuracy before submission to the Travel Office
  • Department admin staff matches the purchase order, invoice and receiving slip before marking the supply as received in 49er Mart

For more detail, look at the article on our website! 

7. Does internal audit get audited?

Yes! We are audited every five years by other auditors under guidelines set forth by the Association of College and University Auditors. This "peer review" process draws upon the standards and guidelines set forth by the Institute of Internal Auditors in their International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. The peer reviewers typically include auditors from other universities, public accounting firms, or specialists in an audit area and they issue a report with findings and recommendations, just as we do when we audit university units.

8. What is the difference between an internal audit and an external audit?

External auditors can be government auditors or independent public accounting firms that UNC Charlotte hires. Government auditors focus primarily on compliance with government regulations and award terms. Since both federal and state governments fund a significant portion of the university's activities, they want to make sure we use their money as they intended.

Independent public accounting firms review the university's annual financial statements to ensure the information presented accurately portrays UNC Charlotte's financial condition. Government agencies, UNC Charlotte's Board of Trustees, and bond rating agencies rely on the independent auditor's opinion of UNC Charlotte's financial statements.

Internal auditors sometimes look at the same data or perform some of the same steps as external auditors. If there is a problem, it's better to find it and fix it before external auditors review our practices.