Our Audit Committee, Internal Auditors and The Annual Internal Audit Plan are key features in helping Council to fulfil their responsibilities and in contributing to a strong and effective governance culture.
The role of the Audit Committee
Our Audit Committee is a Committee of Council and its overriding duties include oversight of the:
- effectiveness of our risk management, control and governance arrangements, and the arrangements to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money)
- internal and external audit arrangements including advising Council on the appointment of the internal and external audit providers
- external audit aspects of our financial statements
- nature and scope of internal audit and the effectiveness of the internal audit process
- implementation of agreed audit based recommendations
Membership of the Audit Committee
Membership of the Audit Committee comprises both lay members of the University Council and co-optees with special expertise who are not on Council.
Senior executives such as the Registrar and Secretary and Director of Finance attend meetings of Audit Committee but they are NOT members of it. Both the external and internal auditors have independent access to the Committee, and vice versa.
Authority of the Audit Committee
The Audit Committee is authorised by Council to investigate any activity within its terms of reference. It is authorised to seek any information it requires from any employee, and all employees are directed to co-operate with any request made by the committee.
The committee is authorised by Council to obtain outside legal or other independent professional advice and to secure the attendance of non-members with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary, normally in consultation with the Registrar and Secretary and/or Vice Chancellor. The committee is authorised to incur expenditure up to a limit of £5,000 per case and subject to an annual limit of £25,000 without permission of Council.
Audit Committee undertake a role on behalf of Council and the results of these activities are reported to, and considered, annually by Council. This report includes the Committee’s opinion of the adequacy and effectiveness of our arrangements for risk management, control and governance and for economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money).
The Committee also highlights any matters where it considers actions or improvements are needed.
The Audit Committee report to Council is also submitted to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as one element of their assurance process. Having an effective Internal Audit process and sound reporting mechanisms are two elements of our responsibilities under the Financial Memorandum which defines the terms of our funding from HEFCE.
You can view more information about the Audit Committee terms of reference and membership details.
Internal Audit feedback
As a member of staff involved with an internal audit you will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the internal audit process.
Individual review questionnaires are issued after each audit has been completed. The questionnaire is issued to the main audit contact for each department, with the aim of assessing their views on the audit process. This feedback is shared with PricewaterhouseCoopers on a regular basis, as and when it is received, in order to provide a timely opportunity to respond to any issues should they arise. It allows the internal audit team to understand what is working well and areas where the process can be improved.
The individual feedback is reported to Audit Committee on a regular basis and forms part of a range of key performance indicators used by the Committee to evaluate the performance of the internal audit service.
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Who to contact
If you have any questions about these web pages or about Audit Committee and Internal Audit at the University of Sheffield, please contact us.
Director of Finance