Administration and Finance
 
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Administration and Operations Manual

2.03 Audit and Management Advisory Services (AMAS)

Last Revised: 16 May 2009
Refer Questions To: Director, Audit & Management Advisory Services

Scope

This policy applies to all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.

Policy

The Audit and Management Advisory Services (AMAS) Department is an objective assurance and consulting activity that is independently managed within Gallaudet University and guided by the philosophy of partnering with management at all levels to continuously improve operations of the University. The department is responsible for facilitating a systematic and ongoing evaluation of the University's risk management, control, and governing processes as a basis for identifying potential risks in critical business processes and recommending proactive measures to mitigate those risks. The department serves as a key advisor to University management on a wide range of financial and operational issues related to all business activities of the institution. In this role, AMAS staff act as value-driven internal consultants, change agents, business analysts, and quality advocates.

Audit and Management Advisory Services is a critical component of the University's governance and accountability structure. Management personnel are ultimately responsible for prudent resources management and for compliance with regulatory and internal policy requirements affecting their operations. The Audit and Management Advisory Services Department supports
and complements campus management personnel in discharging their fiduciary responsibilities effectively.

The Audit and Management Advisory Services Department reports administratively to the President and functionally to the Board of Trustees Audit Committee. The department is authorized full and unrestricted access to all areas and information sources necessary to carry out its internal assurance and consulting responsibilities.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Board of Trustees

Procedures

  1. Assurance services are planned when requested by University administrators or identified through a collaborative risk assessment process. This consultative planning process focuses on how the University as a whole is managing all financial, regulatory, operational, and business risks in order to accomplish its strategic objectives. The Director of Audit and Management Advisory Services (AMAS) consults with key campus administrators to identify critical business processes or areas on which AMAS staff should focus within each organizational unit using a coactive risk-based audit model. All identified risk areas are prioritized in order to allocate more resources to areas that pose the most risk to the accomplishment of overall institutional objectives at operational levels and offer greater cost-saving or profit-making opportunities. An annual work plan established from this planning process, including built-in flexibility to deal with uncertainty or changes during the fiscal year, is subject to the approval of the Vice President for Administration and Finance.
  2. For each assurance services engagement, the AMAS staff determine who their primary customers are and ascertain customer expectations for their professional services. The AMAS staff develop client service objectives from identified customers' needs and professional service requirements that enable them to fulfill their professional responsibilities and meet or exceed the expectations of their customers. An appropriate customer service plan is prepared to achieve these specific customer service objectives.
  3. AMAS works with primary customers to execute the established client service plan in a manner which ensures that service commitments are met, potential problems are anticipated, and surprises are avoided. Effective and creative communications between the AMAS staff and customers are facilitated throughout the evaluation process to enhance client perceptions of the value and quality of assurance services. The evaluation process focuses on how effectively customers are mitigating business risks in their areas. All assurance service communications are formal, providing management personnel with insights on the potential risks of their business processes and meaningful suggestions for strengthening their risk minimization process. Management personnel are required to respond formally to all recommendations or comments developed from the collaborative review, and the recommendations are subject to formal follow-up procedures.
  4. Campus operations are constantly changing to more efficiently and effectively achieve the overall objectives of the University. As part of its consulting services, AMAS is available to assist all levels of management in the planning, design, and implementation of new systems, projects, or organizational restructuring within their units or departments. AMAS also assists operating management with (a) identifying practical solutions to complex business problems, and (b) interpreting University policies and suggesting appropriate departmental procedures that will ensure compliance with those policies and sound business practices. Consulting services communications are less formal and generally take the form of memos, e-mail messages, or telephone calls. Customers are not required to respond formally, and the recommendations or comments developed, if any, are not subject to formal follow-up procedures.
  5. Although certain specialized business processes may extend beyond the qualifications of Audit and Management Advisory Services staff and customers from a professional competence or technical standpoint, they may be evaluated collaboratively in terms of benefits and improvement opportunities. If necessary, input may be obtained from other qualified internal and external sources to assure that processes for recognizing and managing business risks function effectively. The Audit and Management Advisory Services Department works with other assurance and consulting service providers to maximize cooperation, minimize duplication of effort, and ensure that the best interests of the University are served.
  6. The AMAS staff, formally or informally, obtain regular assessment of their professional performance from all customers. Such ongoing customer satisfaction surveys or performance assessments are essential to the continuous quality improvement of the department's work processes. Regular comparison of actual performance to established performance standards are summarized in a value scorecard and communicated to management.
  7. All written reports reflecting the results of assurance and consulting engagements are privileged documents with access restricted to management officials having need for the information. Audit and Management Advisory Services does not release reports outside of established channels without authorization by responsible officials.
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