Audits

What are audits?

Audits are reviews or regulated examinations of internal controls, records and procedures.

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Why are audits necessary?

Audits determine the level of organizational and individual compliance with University policies and/or Federal and State regulations and laws.  Audits also determine the need for any corrective actions to bring Emory in compliance with the policies, regulations, and laws, as well as, the timetable (usually one year) for Emory to complete any corrective actions required.

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What should be done in the event of an external audit?

  • Contact your OGCA representative or the OGCA Director to provide as much information as possible on the external audit visit as soon as the information is available.  Do not agree to any audit date or provide any requested information without the OGCA Director’s approval.
  •  The OGCA will determine how and when Emory responds and make any audit date or other commitments to the auditor.
  • The OGCA will assign staff as needed to address the audit in a timely manner.
  • The OGCA will maintain a log for all audits and the results for reporting to the Associate Vice President of Research annually.
  • The OGCA will notify appropriate parties if any finding requires corrective actions and the deadline to complete the corrective actions.

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What kinds of audits are there?

Audits fall into two categories – internal and external. 
The Internal Audit Division (IAD) (http://www.iad.emory.edu) carries out most internal audits and operational reviews at Emory.   The IAD website also has the financial hotline number (1-888-550-8850) and information including FAQs about reporting financial irregularities, questionable practices and malfeasance.
There are a number of types of external audits.

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Sponsor Agency Audits

These are ad hoc audits by Federal or non-Federal sponsors.  The agency financial (not program) staff or an outside CPA firm’s staff conduct the audits.   These audits can be for specific awards/programs, for specific types of expenditures such as travel or equipment, or for specific functional areas such as procurement.   These audits can be on site or desk audits via mail or email.  On site audits generally are more comprehensive than desk audits.  These audits generally require responses within specific deadlines and can require specific information from the departments and/or PIs.  These audits are coordinated through the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting (OGCA).

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Sponsor Site Visits

These are ad hoc site visits by the Federal or non-Federal program staff.  In most cases, these are not audits.  Occasionally the sponsor representative will ask for financial award information that must come from the University’s financial books and records.  When they do, these become audits.   Please treat them as Sponsor Agency Audits.  These audits are coordinated through the OGCA.

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Financial Statement Audit

This is an annual audit currently completed by KPMG LLP to insure Emory’s financial statement accurately reflects the financial activities for the year in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  This audit generally does not require non-central departmental or PI involvement.  The audit is coordinated through the Controller’s Office.

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OMB Circular A-133 Audit

This is an annual audit currently completed by KPMG LLP to insure Emory complies with OMB Circular A-133 requirements.  The audit is coordinated through the OGCA.  The actual audit report includes the annual Financial Statement Audit as well as an annual Schedule Expenditures of Federal Awards, opinions on Emory’s compliance with Government Auditing Standards and Emory’s compliance with the requirements in OMB Circular A-133.  The State of Georgia requires a similar audit of its Emory awards.  Emory includes the Schedule of Cash Receipts and Expenditures of State of Georgia Awards in the A-133 audit report to meet the State of Georgia audit requirements.  This audit can require specific information responses from the departments and/or PIs. 

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Facility & Administrative Cost Proposal Audit

This is an audit completed every 3 to 4 years by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Cost Allocation to evaluate Emory’s proposed Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Cost Rate.  Emory applies the F&A cost rate to all allowable direct expenses to calculate Emory’s reimbursement for facilities and administrative expenses (called F&A, FAC, overhead or indirect costs).  The audit includes a detailed and comprehensive review of costs, a comprehensive research related space inventory and an on site evaluation of selected research related space.  The on site evaluation of research space and some review of the costs data may require departmental and PI involvement.  The audit is coordinated through the Cost Studies Group of the OGCA.

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Fringe Benefit Cost Proposal Audit

This is an annual audit currently completed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Cost Allocation to evaluate Emory’s proposed Fringe Benefit Rate.  Emory applies the Fringe Benefit Rate cost rate to all allowable direct salary and wage expenditures to calculate Emory’s reimbursement for fringe benefit expenses.  The audit is coordinated through the Cost Studies Group of the OGCA and will not affect the departments or PIs.

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Government-wide Audits

These are rare ad hoc audits.  Generally, the Government Accounting Office carries out these audits.  These audits are in response to legislative mandates.  The findings may develop into new laws and regulations.   These audits are coordinated through the OGCA and may affect the departments and PIs on a selective basis.

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