• Frequently Asked Questions


    What is Internal Audit?


    As defined by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), "Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.


    Internal auditors' roles include monitoring, assessing, and analyzing organizational risk and controls; and reviewing and confirming information and compliance with policies, procedures, and laws. Working in partnership with management, internal auditors provide the board, the audit committee, and executive management assurance that risks are mitigated and that the organization's corporate governance is strong and effective. And, when there is room for improvement, internal auditors make recommendations for enhancing processes, policies, and procedures."


    What are internal auditors looking for?


    Primarily compliance with school district policies and sound internal controls. Washoe County School District's (WCSD) policies are designed to help ensure we all comply with applicable laws and regulations and operate efficiently. By following these policies we help protect the district from unnecessary risks and help ensure sound business practices are consistent throughout the district. WCSD policies can be found here: https://www.washoeschools.net/domain/222. However, not all internal controls can be codified in policy. If we find control weaknesses, we regularly make recommendations to implement a control even though it may not be specifically required by policy.


    Can a department request an audit?


    Yes! We consider requests for audit work, although our ability to perform the audit might be affected by our staffing levels, or year end deadlines.



    How long does an audit take?

    Audits vary in length depending on the area being reviewed, the detail being tested and the structure of the organization. Some follow-up audits may take only a few hours whereas some department audits can take several months to complete. Internal Audit makes every effort to inform clients of the timeline for their particular audit and provide updates to keep administrators aware of the audit status.


    What does a typical internal audit include? 

    Common elements of an internal audit engagement include the following:
    • Scheduling an opening conference to discuss audit objectives, timing, and intended report format
    • Evaluating internal control systems
    • Interviewing management and staff pertinent to the area being audited
    • Testing to ensure proper operation of internal control systems
    • Developing conclusions based on testing results
    • Reviewing audit issues and draft audit reports with management and staff
    • Preparing and distributing an audit report which generally includes management's responses to the recommendations

    Who receives the audit report?

    Internal Audit reports are presented to department management in order to give them the opportunity to provide additional information that may change the report.  The Internal Audit Department presents the report with management responses to the Audit Committee (a standing committee of the Board of Trustees), at which time it becomes a public document.  After the audit has been approved by the Board, it is posted on the Internal Audit Department's webpage.
    Who audits the auditors?
    The Internal Audit Office complies with Government Auditing Standards. These Standards require that audit organizations undergo an external independent quality assurance review at least once every three years. The objective of a quality assurance review is to determine whether an audit organization’s internal quality control system is in place and operating effectively. A quality assurance review provides assurance that established policies and procedures and applicable auditing standards are being followed.