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Audit & Advisory Services

Our Services

We provide independent, proactive analyses of operations, financial activities and systems of internal control. Learn more about our services and how they help the university's efficiency and effectiveness.

Audits

Our team thoroughly assesses internal processes to identify any present weaknesses, risks or inefficiencies and make recommendations for improvement. We work in partnership with university departments, units and organizations to manage risk and improve internal controls.

Auditing Process

Our objective is to have you involved at every stage, so you understand what we are doing and why. The process for most audits consists of four stages.

During this phase, we explain our riskbased approach, gather information about risks and controls, and determine the objectives for fieldwork. We will hold a Welcoming Meeting and conduct an Engagement Risk Assessment. When planning our review, we welcome input from management on areas they would like to include. 

The Fieldwork phase is when the actual work of the audit is performed through testing of controls. This typically includes:

  • determining whether controls are operating efficiently and effectively.
  • assessing accuracy of financial reporting.
  • verifying that policies and procedures are available, up to date and address risks adequately.
  • reviewing compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies.

Testing results will be discussed with you and your management team both during the fieldwork phase, as well as at the engagement’s conclusion.

Draft Report — During a closing meeting, we will discuss the draft report and make any appropriate revisions.

Final Report — Management’s action plans, including responsible parties and a timeline for completion, are added to the report. The final report is distributed to management, appropriate university leadership and the Board of Trustees.

Dashboard — The dashboard summarizes the activities and procedures reviewed, and provides an assessment of the areas reviewed and related internal controls.

Follow-up is the final stage of the process. Follow-up activities will be performed periodically and conclude when action plans are completed. We maintain a tracking report to record open audit recommendations which is shared with the Audit and Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees at quarterly meetings.


Audit Plans

Each year we perform a risk assessment and develop an audit plan that addresses risk areas. The audit process assists the university in strengthening its internal control structure and provides assurance that resources are used efficiently and effectively in keeping with mandated requirements and the university's mission, goals and objectives. As risks change, audit plans change accordingly. 

Strategic Risks
  • Enterprise Risk Management
Financial Risks
  • Procure to Pay Business Cycle
Hazard Risks
  • Laboratory Safety
  • Minors on Campus
  • Student Safety — System Campuses
Operational Risks

Colleges and Schools

  • School of Medicine/Palmetto Health Alliance

Academic and Institutional Support

  • Conflicts of Interest
  • International Programs and Students
  • NCAA Rules Compliance

Human Resources Processes

  • Succession Planning

Student Support Processes

  • Financial Aid

Data and IT Systems

  • Cybersecurity — Access Management and Controls
  • Data Integrity  — Institutional Data and Reporting
  • IBM Contract Compliance and Billing
  • IT Infrastructure — Mainframe Systems
  • IT Systems Implementation — PeopleSoft HCM
  • UTS Services Billing Model
Strategic Risks
  • Enterprise Risk Management
Financial Risks
  • Data Integrity — PeopleSoft Finance
  • Financial Forecast and Stress Testing
  • Procure to Pay Business Cycle
Operational Risks

Colleges and Schools

  • School of Medicine/Palmetto Health Alliance

System Campuses

  • Palmetto College
  • USC Beaufort Business Operations

Academic and Institutional Support

  • Export Controls
  • Financial Aid
  • International Programs and Students
  • Title IX Compliance — Systemwide

Human Resources Processes

  • Succession Planning

Data and IT Systems

  • Cybersecurity — PCI
  • Cybersecurity — State Security Standards
  • Data Integrity - Institutional Data Reporting
  • IT Infrastructure — Wi Fi
  • IT Systems Change Management
  • IT Systems Implementation — PeopleSoft HCM

Research

  • Research Accounting and Compliance
Strategic Risks
  • Shared Services Model — Advisory
Financial Risks
  • Budget Model Reporting
  • Payroll Operations
  • Travel and Expense
Hazard Risks
  • IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Risk Management — Insurance
Operational Risks

Colleges and Schools

  • Darla Moore School of Business

System Campuses

  • USC Aiken Business Operations

Academic and Institutional Support

  • Athletics
  • Enrollment Management
  • NCAA Rules Compliance
  • University Development

Human Resources Processes

  • Faculty Recruitment

Data and IT Systems

  • Cybersecurity — HIPAA
  • IT Infrastructure — Identity Management
  • IT Infrastructure — Instructional/Academic Computing
  • IT Systems Implementation — PeopleSoft HCM

Facilities and Infrastructure

  • Capital Projects — Maintenance and Renewal

 
Advisory Activities and Training

We’re committed to providing the university community with advice on governance, risk and controls. These efforts include:

  • management and Board-requested advisory reviews.
  • consulting on new processes and procedures.
  • objective analyses for business decision-making.
  • participation on committees in an advisory capacity. 

We also provide financial stewardship and internal control training programs, as well as targeted training at management’s request on topics such as conflicts of interest, procurement card stewardship, ethics and more.

Investigations

Audit & Advisory Services has primary responsibility for investigating reported incidents of dishonest acts and fraudulent activities as defined in the Dishonest Acts and Fraud Policy [pdf].  

 

Learn More

For additional information about our services, potential risks and controls, download our Audit & Advisory Services Brochure [pdf].


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