An important goal for Cincinnati Public Schools' Board of Education is to conduct the financial operations of the district in an efficient, effective and transparent manner. To accomplish this, the Board established an Audit Committee and an internal auditor position, with a commitment to report quarterly to the public on financial management.
The role of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board of Education in ensuring that both external and internal audit functions and other accountability issues receive adequate oversight.
The Audit Committee is comprised of the Board Finance Committee, plus six additional members who are not employees of the school district and are appointed by the Board of Education for one- to three-year terms. The committee meets at least four times a year.
Internal auditing provides reasonable assurance that internal controls are operating the way they are designed to work to support daily operations. An auditor works with objectivity, being independent from the daily operations to deliver an unbiased viewpoint and fairly assess, with integrity, how processes are working. Auditors provide a valuable perspective by being able to analyze current processes to highlight what is working well and where there is room for improvement.
An internal audit focuses on:
- Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
- Reliability and integrity of information
- Safeguarding of assets
- Compliance with state and federal laws
Internal controls are important because they reduce the risk of fraud, prevent loss of funds and resources, and help to ensure that the district meets its goals and operates with integrity.
The Internal Auditor provides the Audit Committee with an annual work plan for approval by the Board of Education. The plan includes financial, operational and compliance-related audits. A written report is prepared after each audit, which provides recommendations and management action plans on how controls will be strengthened.
The Internal Auditor may deviate from the approved annual plan to review potential theft or fraud issues. The results of these reviews are reported to the Audit Committee.
The Internal Auditor reports administratively to the Board of Education and functionally to the Board's Audit Committee.