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External audit

The 2019 Financial Statements audit of the University as a corporate Commonwealth entity, and the consolidated entities of the University and its subsidiary ANU Enterprise Pty Ltd, was conducted by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) on behalf of the Auditor-General in accordance with the requirements of the PGPA Act and Australian Auditing Standards.

The 2019 Financial Statements audit made two moderate-rated and three low-rated findings. The moderate- rated findings related to the completeness of bank accounts in the ledger, and data integrity checks on financial information post the University’s data breach. The low-rated findings related to asset tagging, excess balances of staff leave, and asset stocktake processes. The University took immediate action to address these findings.

Internal audit

The ANU Internal Audit Plan 2019 gives Council, the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the University Executive a strategic overview of planned internal audit activity, linked to the University’s risk profile, the business environment and the direction the University is working towards, as outlined in the Strategic Plan.

The Internal Audit Work Plan incorporates a broad range of reviews ranging from compliance-based, performance improvement audits to (increasingly) Management Initiated Reviews.

Internal audits performed in 2019 included:

  • Risk Management of Higher Degree Research (HDR) admissions and examinations
  • Software procurement and licensing
  • Recording and reporting of student grades
  • Paid outside work for academic employees (the 52-day rule)
  • Management of payroll allowance payments
  • Follow-up of the review of 116 and 117 payments – recommendations implementation
  • Annual performance statements reporting
  • Management of research integrity
  • Management of scholarships and prizes.

Management-initiated reviews in 2019 included:

  • Credit Card Internal Audit Follow Up Review
  • Review of the College of Business and Economics – Student Managed Fund
  • Governance Review of the Postgraduate Student Association
  • Compliance with the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 – National Code of Standards.

Grant audits

The University is required to conduct audits of the financial activities of grants to comply with the requirements set by the grant-funding entity. These audits verify that the statement of income and expenditure accurately summarises the financial records of the grant and provides an assurance that funds have been expended in accordance with the relevant grant agreement. The statement of income and expenditure of grants is audited by an internal auditor or by an independent external auditor with the results and corrective action plans forwarded to the funding body as required by the operating legislation and/or grant agreement.

During 2019, 15 internal and four external audits were conducted in respect of $27.2 million of grant funds.