Responsibility by Organizational Role
A successful internal control program depends on the participation of all employees at every level. Competence and professional integrity are essential components of a sound internal control program. All employees should be aware of the University’s goals and their participation roles in attaining those goals. By knowing what their responsibilities are, all employees can help to provide reasonable assurance that the University’s internal control systems are adequate and operating in an efficient manner.
Everyone within an organization has some responsibility for monitoring. However, the position a person holds in the organization helps to determine the focus and extent of these responsibilities.
All employees are responsible for the following:
- Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities established in their job description and meeting applicable performance standards.
- Monitoring their work to ensure it is being done properly.
- Correcting errors they identify before work is referred to higher levels for review
- Taking all reasonable steps to safeguard University assets and resources against waste, loss, damage, unauthorized use, or misappropriation.
- Reporting breakdowns in internal control systems or suggesting improvements to their supervisor.
- Refraining from using their position to secure unwarranted privileges.
- Attending education and training programs as appropriate to increase awareness and understanding.
Management, in general, has the following additional responsibilities:
- Maintaining an appropriate internal control system in their areas of operation.
- Educating staff regarding control activities and encouraging them to be alert to and report any irregularities.
- Documenting policies and procedures that are to be followed in performing unit functions.
- Maintaining a work environment that encourages employees to understand the purpose of policies and procedures and that supports the maintenance of a positive internal control environment.
- Identifying the objectives for the unit and implementing cost effective internal controls designed to meet those objectives.
- Regularly testing the internal controls implemented to determine if they are functioning as intended.
- Reminding staff to note changes in their immediate internal and external environments, to identify any risks and to report opportunities for improvement.
- Listening to employee suggestions concerning the internal control systems.
Particular to the management level, responsibilities are further outlined:
- Monitoring all activities and transactions in their unit to ensure that staffs are performing their assigned responsibilities, control activities are functioning properly, the unit is accomplishing its goals, the unit's control environment is appropriate, communication is open and sufficient, and risks and opportunities are identified and properly addressed.
- Assessing how well controls are functioning in multiple units within an organization, and how well supervisors are monitoring their respective units.
- Monitoring activities on the major divisions of the organization.
- Monitoring for the existence of risks and opportunities in either the internal or external environment that might indicate the need for a change in the organization's plans.