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What is an Audit?

An “audit" is traditionally defined as an examination of records or financial accounts to check their accuracy.  In reality, the concept of auditing is much broader and deeper.  It is common for an audit to extend beyond financial considerations and also to include operational processes.  Therefore, an audit may best be defined as an appraisal of organizational processes in light of the goals and objectives of that organization and/or the goals and objectives of an external group (such as a regulatory agency).

The Internal Audit office operates with limited resources and must constantly evaluate the most effective and efficient use of those resources.  Resources are deployed pursuant to an annual audit plan.  The annual audit plan is developed through a systematic and disciplined approach and with the input of university officials and the university Board of Trustees.


Types of Audits

Internal Audits

Internal audits primarily serve the interests of the organization being audited, and are usually performed by employees of the organization.  The interests of the organization are always understood to include compliance with external regulations, laws, and expectations, but also encompass goals and objectives that are internal to the organization.

Internal Audits at Austin Peay State University include risk-based audits, required audits, special projects, and follow-up audits.


 External Audits

The goal of external audits is to report on the accuracy of the organization's financial reports and/or its compliance with external regulations and/or laws.  External audits are performed by individuals or groups who are not employed by the university but employed by the entity requiring the audit.

The university is subject to numerous external audits each year.  It is important for university personnel to contact us when external audits are scheduled.


Administrative/Consultative Reviews (non-audit projects)

These reviews usually focus on narrowly defined issues or activities and are often performed at the request of the responsible manager or director.  The results of these reviews are usually reported only to the responsible managers or university officials.  Please contact us to discuss a possible project for Internal Audit.