Team Conversations About Internal Controls
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 Internal Controls & Quality Assurance 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Talk through your strengths in the different sections
- Think about what could be improved – this could be based on “no” answers
- Discuss places where compensating controls might be needed
- Consider any barriers to implementing best practices that your area might be experiencing
Consider the following questions during your discussion
- 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?
- Does the control environment support an effective system of internal control? If not, what changes can be made to create this environment?
- Are there gaps in training identified by the checklist? How can the unit create a training plan for employees to address these gaps?
- 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?
- Does external and internal information obtained provide management with the needed information to assess performance, ensure reliable financial reporting and safeguard assets?
- Is there separation of duties for key internal controls? If not, what compensating controls are in place?
- 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?
- 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?
- Are there other best practices that are used in your area?
- What can the leader do to ensure accountability for internal control responsibility?
- Have any barriers to implementing certain internal controls been identified?
07/31/2021: reviewed content
PRO303 – Internal Controls at UF
Internal Controls & Quality Assurance: (352) 392-1321