Tips from University Audits

As we become active in the Fall semester, the Business IT Collaboration would like to share a refresher on some of the key takeaways from the ‘University Audit Finding and Discussion’ office hours that took place this Summer. Special guest speaker Darla Hill, Director of Audits at the Office of University Audits, led the conversation on common problems and issues, identified by audits, which might have relevance to the Business IT Collaboration audience.

Throughout the conversation, key areas were identified as areas of improvement to ensure that units are not only prepared for university audits but also keep our community safe and in compliance.  

  • Remote workers, those living and working out of the State of Illinois and out of the country, are required to report their location so that the University can address the specific tax treatment that is required, and any worker’s compensation laws that might apply.  During COVID and with the continuation of remote working, knowing where your employees are located is critical. Review the CAM policy about doing business outside of Illinois. 
  • With the urgency of how employees left the on-site working environment, many unit loan forms are out of date and not accurate.  This is a great way to track home office equipment that is under the Banner reporting threshold.
  • Donor intent is important. We often recommend units double-check original documentation to whatever source the unit is using to administer the gifts to make sure everything is accurate. If you are providing details to committees in databases or on spreadsheets, such as a scholarship committee, double-check that the donor intent is complete and accurate. If you find errors in TED descriptions or changes are made through conversations with the donor, those need to be entered directly into TED.
  • Regarding documentation and reconciliation, the Office of University Audits is not asking you to print. Reconciliations can be done online using checklists, initials, moving transaction support from files designating unreconciled and reconciled, and many more ways.

    When using an electronic method, keep in mind that any support that predates Chrome River must be maintained for five years plus the current fiscal year. Original paper receipts in Chrome River, as well as exception approvals, need to be kept for one year. Electronic receipts should be printed and kept for one year as well.

    NOTE: We are creating a committee with University Audits and UAFR to work on providing some guidelines and potentially some tools for reconciliations. The goal is to provide a risk assessment to use in approaching reconciliations.
  • Banner, non-Banner, and related system access reviews are critical to the safety of our university. Regularly updating swipe and physical key access records to buildings in high-risk units (like areas with children and access to rooftops) should be done with great attention and care. Keep in mind “other” systems like created applications for timecards, vacation, and other similar shadow systems. 
  • During a conversation about Conflict of Commitment and Interest (RNUA), we discussed key questions that need to be asked during the process. Are they all approved and processed, is information needed from other units, are conversations taking place about these disclosures, are management plans being followed up on, and who is sharing that information with business staff or others that need to know (e.g., purchasing staff)? 

These tips are relevant as of September 2022. For full details, please reference the Office of University Audits website.