Almost all* state agencies and universities have an internal auditing program of some kind. Yet, many people are unfamiliar with the role the internal auditors play for the state and in their own organization.
Internal auditors are partners within their organization to help solve problems and improve organizational operations. They review program effectiveness and efficiency and make recommendations to safeguard public funds and minimize incidences of fraud, waste, and abuse. It is a role that benefits both the state government and the public.
May is a great time for state agencies and universities to celebrate the contribution their internal audit teams make to our state because it is Internal Audit Awareness Month.
Governor Cooper issued a proclamation recognizing Internal Audit Awareness Month and the importance of internal auditors on May 1.
The Governor wasn’t alone in recognizing Internal Audit Awareness Month. Here’s a roundup of how some of our state agencies and universities marked the month:
- The Central Internal Audit Office at the Office of State Budget and Management celebrated by hosting an internal audit trivia game over pizza for agency staff. They also offered a Case Study in Fraud virtual learning event to help co-workers in the agency understand how they go about investigations and the impact they can have.
- The UNC Health System provided fraud awareness presentations at a lunch and learn meeting for 300-400 staff and have created a fraud awareness knowledge game to share at future staff meetings. The Audit, Compliance and Privacy team is also planning a Fraud Awareness poster, employee newsletter article, and flyer to help system staff understand the important role they can play in fraud prevention.
- The Department of Commerce and the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services have articles planned for their agency employee newsletters and updates for their bulletin boards.
- Appalachian State University honored their internal audit team at the ASU staff appreciation luncheon. The team capitalized on the visibility by speaking about their role and handing out notebooks, stress balls, and pens with the university Audit Hotline number on them.
- The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is running an internal campaign featuring a new graphic each week on the agency’s Intranet to highlight a particular topic and providing a call to action for staff to click on the graphic to learn more.
- East Carolina University is holding “Meet the Auditors” virtual events to help connect university staff to their team and seek consultative advice. They recently provided a presentation to staff about the role and services of internal audit and followed it up with an internal email campaign about their services.
- The Department of State Treasurer and UNC Charlotte are sharing information about internal auditing in their agency newsletters this month, along with highlighting the Governor’s Internal Audit Awareness proclamation.
- UNC Wilmington’s internal auditors have added the Proud to be an Internal Auditor badge to their email signatures and have been wearing “I heart Internal Audit” pins around campus this month. They have advertised Internal Audit Awareness Month on LinkedIn, in the faculty/staff newsletter and through office signage.
- Western Carolina University is promoting their consulting and advisory services to university management and encouraging staff to contact them with questions about controls, risks, or related issues.
May is a great time to thank the internal auditors who add value to their organizations by providing assurance, insight, and objectivity. For more information and ideas on how to celebrate, visit the Institute of Internal Auditors website.
Internal Auditing Requirements for State Government
*State agencies are required by state law to have an internal audit program if they:
- Have an operating budget of more than $10,000,000
- Have more than 100 full-time equivalent employees or
- Process more than $10,000,000 in a fiscal year
Agencies that do not meet the minimum standards receive internal audit services from the Central Internal Audit Office of OSBM. For more information see State Internal Audit Requirements.