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

Internal Audit


Reporting to the University’s Audit Committee, the Internal Audit function provides independent assurance of the University’s financial and operational activities. The University’s Internal Audit function is currently outsourced to an external firm, Deloitte LLP. Office for Students guidance and good practice require that market testing is undertaken regularly.

Among the internal auditors’ main areas of audit are:

  • key financial issues
  • risk management
  • value for money
  • internal controls
  • governance

Annual interal audit plan

Each year, an Annual Audit Plan is drawn up, linked to the key risk areas identified in the University’s Risk Register, and assesses the internal controls and accounting systems in place in the University. The annual internal audit plan includes:

  • specific themed audits which are agreed by the Audit Committee; and
  • an online Departmental Assurance Survey which is completed by all institutions

Internal Audit Departmental visits



If the audit programme includes a thematic visit to a specific department the Department will be contacted in advance.

Heads of audited institutions and Departmental Administrators will attend an initial scoping meeting where the Internal Auditor will explain:

  • the purpose of the audit; and
  • what information will be required.

During the audit


The Internal Auditors must be provided with all relevant information. Departmental staff are required to assist the auditor by responding to all reasonable requests for information and providing explanations to queries in a timely fashion.

Post audit


Following the audit, a draft audit report will be prepared for the department to comment upon. There will be a closing meeting, which Heads of institutions are encouraged to attend as well as completing and signing feedback forms for consideration by the Audit Committee. The final report is then issued to the Audit Sponsor, Head of Institution and Audit Committee.

External Audit

The University is required by Office for Students 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 auditors for the University are PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Peters Elworthy & Moore (PEM).

The University has adopted a hybrid approach to the appointment of external auditors for accounting periods beginning on or after 31st July 2018.  In summary this approach means that UK based University subsidiary companies, trusts and Joint ventures are audited either by the main Academic Universities external auditors, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) or Peters, Elworthy & Moore (PEM) dependent upon materiality to the group position and complexity of the subsidiaries undertaking from an accounting perspective.

Oversees based subsidiaries of the University are also required to be audited, though given the specific local requirements and regulations, these have greater flexibility with regard appointment. All auditors of University subsidiaries must however be audited to meets the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) standards,  

If there are any queries with regard the appointment of auditors, please contact the group reporting team for support.

External Audit department visits

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

Pre visit Any department selected will be notified in advance of the audit visit and also on the specific issues to be covered during the audit
During the audit 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
Post audit Although the external auditor will be testing the operation of the financial controls in the department they will not usually issue a specific report for that department.


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