Effective Date:  01/12/1999

Internal Audit Polices and Procedures

Chapter 12 - Special Projects & Management Requests


The Internal Audit Department often performs reviews in addition to those specifically identified in the Audit Plan.  These reviews, referred to as special projects, are usually initiated based on a request by management.  They can involve reviews of specific processes, providing advice or information about an activity or proposed change, or other agreed upon procedures.  Each year the Audit Work Schedule allocates a block of hours to be used for Special Projects.

Any member of University management can ask the Internal Audit Department to review a certain area or function.  We may also receive requests for reviews from external groups such as UNC General Administration or the State Auditor’s Office.


Before we accept a project, the Director of Internal Audit will review the nature of the project, the risk of not performing the review, the affect the review will have on the current year work plan, and the available time remaining in the special projects budget.  The Director will notify management regarding whether or not we will perform the review.

Our approach to conducting special projects is similar to that used for a scheduled audit, though the preliminary survey will typically be less involved.  The scope and objectives of the review will be determined more by what management has asked us to do than on a fact-finding survey of the major functions and activities of an area.  We will work with management to define the purpose of the project. 

Once this process is complete, we will issue an engagement memorandum that summarizes the scope and objectives of the review.  Copies of this memorandum will be provided to the Chancellor and all levels of management who are responsible for the area(s) where the project will be performed.  Special requests that involve an emergency or require immediate action will usually be handled as a misuse investigation (refer to Chapter 13).

The organization and content of working papers for a special project will depend on the nature of the review.  Most projects will be documented using the working paper format for regular audits (refer to Chapter 15), adjusted as needed.  For example, we will not perform all of the steps in the Planning and Preliminary Survey checklist and there will be no need for a planning memorandum.  Small special projects may be documented informally, through notes to file that summarize discussions with management and the resolution of issues we were asked to review.

At minimum, the working papers should show how the special project was requested, its scope or objectives, what procedures were performed, the results of these procedures, and how the results were communicated.  Refer to Chapter 16 for information regarding written communication of the results of special projects.  A copy of any notes to file prepared for a small special project should be placed in the department file of all areas affected by the project.

When a special project is complete, the Office Assistant should assign a report number and the auditor-in-charge should complete a Report Entry Form so the project and be entered into the Findings2000 database.  If no written report was issued, a dummy report number is assigned and the report date is left blank.  If the project report contains findings, the auditor-in-charge should also complete a Finding Entry Form for each finding.  See Chapter 16 – Communicating Results for additional information. 

Once these forms are complete, the auditor-in-charge gives them to the Director for review. 

After the forms have been reviewed and approved, the Office Assistant enters them into the Findings 2000 database.  See Chapter 18.

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