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The University's internal and external auditors have unrestricted access to all records, assets, personnel and premises and the right to obtain such explanations as they consider necessary.

Internal Audit

The Internal Audit function is responsible for providing an independent appraisal of the University's activities, both financial and non-financial. They investigate and review:

  • key financial issues;
  • risk management;
  • value for money;
  • internal controls;
  • governance.
The Internal Audit function is currently outsourced to an external firm:
Deloitte & Touche Public Sector Internal Audit Limited

However, HEFCE guidance and good practice require that market testing is undertaken regularly

The Internal Audit function reports to the University's Audit Committee which receives internal audit reports and approves the audit plan. The Audit Committee is a committee of council.

The Internal Audit function agrees a programme of work with the Audit Committee which will be used to assess the internal controls and accounting systems in place within the University. Departmental reviews will focus on key financial issues; in addition there will be a number of topical reviews which will investigate strategic issues in greater depth and involve institutions across the whole University.

If the audit programme includes a visit to a specific department, it will include:

  • The department being contacted in advance of the audit visit
  • Heads of audited institutions and Departmental Administrators attending an initial scoping meeting where the Internal Auditor will explain the purpose of the audit
  • The Internal Auditor explaining what information will be required
  • Following the audit, a draft audit report will be prepared for the department to comment upon and there will be a closing meeting
  • Heads of institutions are encouraged to attend the closing meeting and to complete and sign feedback forms for consideration by the Committee
  • The final report is then issued

The Internal Audit function must be provided with all relevant information. Departmental staff are required to assist the Internal Auditor by responding to all reasonable requests for information and providing explanations to queries.

External Audit

The University is required by HEFCE and by its Statutes to appoint an external auditor to provide an independent opinion on its annual financial statements. The financial statements provide a summary of the University's financial performance during the year by showing its income and expenditure, and its assets and liabilities.

The Council on advice of the Audit Committee appoints the external auditor. The Audit Committee will again advise Council of the key issues arising from the external audit process.

The current External Auditor for the University is:
Price Waterhouse Cooper

To establish an opinion on the University's financial statements, the external auditor will undertake audit work in both departments and the central Finance Division. This audit process will involve several departmental audits each year. Any department selected will be notified in advance of the audit visit and also on the specific issues to be covered during the audit. The external auditor will be testing the operation of the financial controls in the department but will not usually issue a specific report for that department.

As with Internal Audit, the external auditor has the right to access all accounting records and information and departmental staff must support the auditor by providing information and explanations to questions.

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