The Auditing Process
What to expect during an audit.
An internal audit is broken down into four parts: Planning, fieldwork, reporting and follow-up. Each part is presented to the office being audited by a member of the Department of Auditing with clear instructions, next steps and contact information. Our goal is to communicate the process, and what we need from the department, clearly and thoroughly, and give departments ample time to prepare and gather the data we are requesting.
The planning process begins with an engagement letter. This is a letter sent to a District department, notifying the staff that an audit is required, and who to contact to schedule the appointment to bring the auditor on-site. The engagement letter will also clearly outlines which documents must be submitted to the Office of Auditing Services before the on-site audit. Once a staff member schedules an audit, it is his or her responsibility to send the documents outlined in the engagement letter to the Office of Auditing Services.
All departments within the District that are audited will receive an engagement letter. Charter school are required to be audited every five years to maintain their charter. Auditing services reviews enrollment data and financial data to determine if the charter school is operating effectively or if a recommendation of revocation should be made.
In addition to the materials provided before the on-site audit, there may be other items the auditing team will need to look at, once they arrive for the audit. The auditing team will communicate any such items to the staff ahead of time. The purpose of reviewing the documents on-site is to determine whether the department has any internal control deficiencies that can be addressed and remedied.
Members of the auditing team are typically on-site for one to two days, for the fieldwork portion of the audit. The auditing team performs tests of various transactions, which are determined ahead of time, so that staff or personnel can prepare the necessary information ahead of time.
Once the on-site audit is finished, auditing services may request further items for review. Once all items are reviewed and no additional information is needed, the reporting process begins. An initial report for the department is created for the department to review. This report may identify issues that need to be inspected further, or report findings to the appropriate offices for further action. Issues will be resolved, or included in the final, official audit report.