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Team Conversations About Internal Controls

Overview

This purpose of this resource is to create a department environment that encourages all tiers to maintain effective communication surrounding internal controls.  It is important to remember that these conversations should be ongoing – it is expected that controls will change to reflect changes in your operating environment.

All employees of the University are responsible for managing internal controls.  Tier 3 Leaders are specifically responsible for ensuring that internal controls are established, properly documented, and maintained in each organization.  CFO 400 – Fiscal Responsibility for UF Leaders is recommended for Tier 3 leaders and their teams developing or reviewing their monthly reconciliation process (a KEY internal control).

Please contact the University Controller’s Office with questions or if you would like assistance in starting a conversation about the Internal Controls in your unit.  For suggestions of discussion questions, please e-mail controller-office@ad.ufl.edu.

Current Process Discussion

Use the questions below as a starting point to discuss your current internal control process.  It is highly recommended to complete the Internal Control Checklist as a guide for your discussion.

  1. Talk through your strengths in the different sections
  2. Think about what could be improved – this could be based on “no” answers
  3. Discuss places where compensating controls might be needed
  4. Consider any barriers to implementing best practices that your area might be experiencing

Consider the following questions during your discussion

  1. How does the unit maintain documentation of procedures, job descriptions, policies, etc.?  Is this way effective for ensuring internal controls are understood by everyone in the unit?
  2. Does the control environment support an effective system of internal control? If not, what changes can be made to create this environment?
  3. Are there gaps in training identified by the checklist?  How can the unit create a training plan for employees to address these gaps?
  4. Are there any “high-risk” areas that stood out from completing the checklist? How does Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 identify risks and decide on actions to manage those risks?
  5. Does external and internal information obtained provide management with the needed information to assess performance, ensure reliable financial reporting and safeguard assets?
  6. Is there separation of duties for key internal controls?  If not, what compensating controls are in place?
  7. Does management review and oversight provide adequate monitoring of the system of internal controls?  Are there any areas identified in the checklist that might need additional monitoring?
  8. Have there been, or are there expected to be, changes to your unit (such as a new system or processes) that could affect internal controls? If so, are there monitoring processes in place to ensure internal controls are still functioning effectively?
  9. Are there other best practices that are used in your area?
  10. What can the leader do to ensure accountability for internal control responsibility?
  11. Have any barriers to implementing certain internal controls been identified?

Last Reviewed

01/31/2020: reviewed content

Training

PRO303 – Internal Controls at UF

Contacts

University Controller’s Office: (352) 392-1321