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ACUA 2024 Spring Virtual Summit

View Baker Tilly's speaking session recordings

In April, Baker Tilly’s higher education team presented on multiple topics at the 2024 Association of College and University Auditors (ACUA) Virtual Spring Summit: Auditor to Trusted Advisor. Watch our recordings below featuring educational and innovative sessions designed to help your institution transform campus relations.

Preparing for your student financial aid audit

Federal Student Aid (FSA) helps students pay for education expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies. Authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA), these programs require all participating schools to have an annual financial and compliance audit by an independent auditor, as mandated by Section 487(c) of the HEA and 34 CFR 668.23.

In this recorded session, we cover Title IV federal student aid regulations, common financial aid risks and mitigation strategies and upcoming changes affecting institutions.

  • Amanda Shanaberger, CPA, Senior Manager, Higher Education
  • Rebecca Weiss, CPA, Senior Manager, Higher Education

Elevating your human resources audit approach

Within higher education institutions, the human resources (HR) functions are responsible for several key processes, including hiring and onboarding, performance management, learning and development, benefits and compensation, as well as terminations and offboarding. During this session, we share an overview of the elements of an HR lifecycle, discuss how to perform a risk assessment of an HR function and identify potential risk areas and audit objectives for detailed testing and analysis.

  • Kimberly Macedo, CIA, PMP, Director, Higher Education Risk Advisory
  • Tiffany Krause, CPA, Manager, Higher Education Risk Advisory

Experimenting with assurance: Overcoming common internal control breakdowns in sponsored research

Many institutions receive federal funding for research and academic goals. Despite needing a Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) framework or Green Book internal control environment for managing awards, colleges and universities struggle to consistently meet required standards, leading to audit findings.

In this session, we provide an overview of Uniform Guidance internal control requirements, implementation of internal controls in sponsored research administration and compliance, common control breakdowns found in internal audits and how internal audit can strengthen the control environment.

  • Adrienne Larmett, CRA, MBA, Principal, Higher Education Risk Advisory
  • Chris Garrity, CPA, CIA, CFE, CGMA, MBA, Director of Internal Audit, The Jackson Laboratory

Performing payroll audits in higher ed: Approaches for internal auditors

Payroll is often one of the highest operational expenses for a higher education institution. It is essential for internal audit teams to periodically assess payroll activities to determine whether controls within the payroll system are operating effectively. By identifying and mitigating potential risks, internal audit can provide targeted recommendations to enhance the accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness of payroll operations.

During this session, participants learn about key risks within payroll functions, as well as discuss controls needed to maintain an effective payroll function.

Presenter: Kimberly Macedo, CIA, PMP, Director, Higher Education Risk Advisory

Where the project is won or lost: Monitoring construction risk in higher ed

Construction projects on higher education campuses are complex endeavors with challenges and nuances at every turn, which can impact success. As your university is forced to run more and more improvement projects with fewer or limited resources, is your capital projects team prepared to protect the return on investment (ROI) during the most critical phases of the project?

During this session, we share process knowledge, reporting and control strategies and discuss ways in which proper construction project monitoring with your existing resources can ensure improved capital sustainability.

Presenter: Heath Whitaker, PMP, Senior Manager, Development Advisory

Back to basics: The P-card audit

The purchasing card (P-Card) audit is one of the most performed audits, with some institutions’ internal audit functions auditing related processes annually. P-Cards, intended to streamline procurement-to-pay processes, can lower institutional operating costs while providing purchasers with a simple and efficient way to obtain goods and/or services. However, with P-Card use comes the risk of misuse and fraud.

In this session, we go back to the basics and identify key controls designed to prevent and detect instances of P-Card misuse and fraud as well as auditing techniques that institutions can deploy to determine whether controls are operating as intended.

Presenter: Katlyn Andrews, CIA, Senior Manager, Higher Education Risk Advisory
Let’s embark on the journey to higher education compliance, transformation and sustainability, together.

Interested in learning more about any of the above topics? Contact our team today!

Adrienne Larmett
Kimberly Macedo
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