This Is Auburn Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy
Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy is to assist Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (the "University") in fulfilling its vision of being a preeminent comprehensive land-grant university. Our office provides services in three distinct yet related disciplines - audit, compliance, and privacy - in support of Auburn University's three-pronged mission of teaching, research, and service.

The Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy functions in partnership with University leadership to:

  • improve the internal control system and culture;
  • improve and enhance the management of operational, financial, compliance, strategic and reputational risks;
  • enhance governance processes;
  • ensure strong stewardship and management accountability at all levels of the University.

Case In Point: Lessons for the proactive manager

For the past several years I’ve had the privilege of teaching a summer mini-semester class in our School of Accountancy. It's one of the highlights of my year, and I'm amazed at the quality of students I encounter. These students will soon leave and assume various roles in the accounting industry. Many will eventually become chief financial officers and controllers, or hold other high-level positions of authority in various industries.

While my course is titled ''Fraud Examination,'' it covers a great deal more than that. One of my goals for this course is to prepare my students for ethical decision making in the dilemmas they will encounter in their career. I have no doubt they will encounter many difficult choices in the years ahead, and I want them to be ready. I joke that I don’t want a former student to be one of the fraud cases we review in future classes.

Because the past several weeks have been highly focused on ethical behavior (and much of my ''regular job'' also deals with ethical issues), I wanted to remind our readers of just how important ethical decision making is in our industry. We are watched by media, stakeholders, regulators, and others now more than ever and have a duty to do things in an ethical manner.

As I look back at prior Case in Point stories over the past year, I'd argue that most include an ethical component in some way. It's vitally important that we make our ethical decisions a result of our character, not just to satisfy a donor, vendor, board member, or other powerful stakeholder. Otherwise, we risk becoming the Case in Point story—something I also don’t want our readers to become.

It's hard to believe that we are winding down summer and about to gear up for a new academic year. Fall semester is an exciting time for college campuses as new freshmen arrive with much energy and eagerness. While the anticipation of fall is high, the various risks remain for our industry. We again invite you to review the issues across higher education with a view toward proactive risk management.

Read this month's issue of Case In Point

Case In Point Archives

Anonymous Reporting Hotline

The University uses the EthicsPoint anonymous Reporting System to enhance communication and empower individuals to promote safety, security, and ethical behavior. Use this anonymous, confidential system to report situations, events or actions by individuals or groups that you believe unethical or otherwise inappropriate. Frivolous or unfounded reports do not help foster a positive workplace. This hotline service does not replace our existing reporting methods for reporting fraud, waste, abuse or other potentially illegal activities. The University continues to encourage stakeholders to report concerns or suspected violations to their supervisor or other campus entities as appropriate.

If you are uncertain if a situation violates University policy, is illegal or constitutes harassment or discrimination, you may use EthicsPoint to obtain clarification. We would much rather have you ask questions than let potential problems go unchecked. However, EthicsPoint should not be used for immediate threats to life or property. If the situation presents an immediate threat to life or property call emergency -- 911

Last Updated: December 17, 2021