Internal Audits Introduction
The Office of Finance has established the internal audit program to assist parishes and parish schools with the safeguarding of parish assets. There is a three-fold purpose for an audit: 1) to assist the parish with accounting related issues, 2) to identify areas that need improved internal controls, and 3) to hold the parish accountable to Diocesan policies.
There are various critieria used in determing which locations are schedule for an internal audit. These criteria include:
- Request by the parish for an audit
- Selection for audit by the diocesan finance office
- Length of time since last audit (scheduled on a rotating basis over a three year period).
Audit costs are split 50/50 by the parish and the Diocese.
The Parish will receive a letter from the Director of Finance indicating an audit will be initiated. Prior to the audit, the Internal Auditor will send a preliminary packet with various questionnaires and forms to be completed and returned to the auditor. At that point, the Internal Auditor will contact the Parish to set a date for the audit fieldwork, in which the auditor will be onsite at the Parish.
The auditor will be onsite from one to five days depending on the size and complexity of the parish. If information is still needed at that point, a return visit may be scheduled. Otherwise, the remaining audit work will be completed offsite. Once all audit issues are resolved, a draft of the audit report, management letter and audited financial statements are sent to the parish for review. At that time, any discrepancies or misunderstandings will be addressed.
Once completed, a final draft of the audit report, management letter and audited financial statements are released.
Questions / Contact
Questions may be directed to the Office of Finance at the Diocese of Winona Pastoral Center at (507) 858-1247.