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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Cost-Saving Ideas: School District Auditing – Internal Auditor

The internal auditor:

  • develops a risk assessment and ensures proper internal controls are in place and working;
  • performs an annual update on the risk assessment;
  • tests and evaluates one or more areas of the district’s operations periodically; and
  • prepares reports analyzing risk assessment findings and recommends changes for strengthening internal controls and reducing identified risks.

The internal auditor must report directly to the board.

Hiring an internal auditor

You must hire an internal auditor unless your district has:

  • fewer than eight teachers,
  • expenditures of less than $5 million in the previous year, or
  • enrollment of fewer than 1,500 students as of April 1, 2013.

If your district meets one of the above conditions, you must still annually certify to the Commissioner of Education that you’re exempt from hiring an internal auditor. You can obtain more information on the certification requirements from the NYSED Office of Education Management’s website or by phone at (518) 474-6541.

Inter-municipal and shared service agreements

Investigate the feasibility of entering into these agreements with other districts when obtaining internal and claims auditing services. Get additional information on cooperative agreements by contacting our regional office that serving your district or by emailing us.

Who qualifies

Candidates for the position must have expertise in district financial operations, pertinent statutes, regulations, purchasing policies, and accounting system and procedures.

Candidates may include:

  • a district employee who meets professional auditing independence standards
  • a person hired through an inter-municipal or shared service agreement
  • an independent contractor
  • a BOCES employee – only if the BOCES does not provide significant and material services to the district
  • a district resident or nonresident

Who does not qualify

  • Employees with responsibilities for other business operations in the district
  • Close or immediate family members of an employee, officer or vendor (see Avoiding conflict of interest)
  • The district's claim auditor
  • The district’s deputy claims auditor
  • The district's external auditor

Resources

"Guidance on Internal Audit Functions," State Education Department

"Getting the Most Out of Your Internal Audit Function [pdf]," Office of the State Comptroller

"Standards and Guidance – International Professional Practices Framework," The Institute of Internal Auditors

Other auditing roles

Return to School District Auditing – Roles, Responsibilities and Resources

Updated 2016