What should I expect during an audit?

There are four distinct phases to an audit at the University and an understanding of these phases will help you to understand the process:


  • An announcement letter is sent to the department/unit informing them of the audit project. This letter will provide details on the timeframe and the name of the managing auditor and auditing team assigned to the project.
  • The managing auditor will interview key personnel in the department to learn more about the operations.
  • The Scope Document is prepared and presented to management as a contract for the work to be performed. This document will outline the objectives and parameters of the audit project.

Field Work

  • Auditors schedule times to interview individuals responsible for maintaining and preparing financial and operational reports.
  • Analytical audit techniques are used to test, analyze, interpret and corroborate documentation of controls.
  • Regular update meetings are scheduled during field work to communicate progress to date and to discuss potential findings.

Communication of Results

  • The distribution list for the audit report is included on the Objective and Scope Document Report. University Audits are confidential and go only to those people who need to know.
  • The results of the draft audit, findings and recommendations are submitted to management for discussion in draft report at an "exit meeting."A 10-day comment period is used by the auditors to allow the department to respond in writing to facts and recommended actions in the report.
  • The final report goes to the managers of the area, their supervisors and, for school related reports, to the Financial Dean of the school. In addition, the Vice President for Finance and the Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP assigned to the University account receive the report.


  • Significant issues in a final audit report could warrant a Post-Audit Appraisal (PAA) at a later date.
  • PAA’s are usually conducted within 18 months of the full audit, and the results are published in a written report.