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

As we enter the summer of 2021, it seems things are heading toward normal (in my world anyway). Two weeks ago, I spoke at a conference to a group of business officers - live and in person - for the first time since 2019. This week I started teaching my annual course on Fraud in AU’s Harbert College of Business, again live and in person.

The past year without in-person events really made me appreciate just how important it is to see faces and body language while communicating. Auburn University plans to resume normal operations in the fall semester. For our readers in other parts of the country (and world), I hope things are moving toward normal for you as well. Hopefully we all head that way with a new appreciation for things we have taken for granted in the past.

My topic at the conference was fraud/ethical issues. During this talk I mentioned the importance of internal controls and the impact the pandemic may have had on controls. Controls are important for preventing fraud and, on a broader level, ensuring we meet objectives. As a part of this talk, I made four simple suggestions to consider as operations return to normal. I share these with you this month in the hopes that they will generate some thought and be helpful.

Post Pandemic Internal Control Considerations

  1. What processes have changed?
  2. Did we lose any needed controls with the change?
  3. Is the change actually a better business practice we want to keep?
  4. Has anyone been put into a position of having too much control of some process?

Despite our operations being different for over a year now, one thing remains the same… we face numerous risks in higher education. It is important to think about these risks with a view toward proactive management, and it is more important than ever – due to scarce resources – to avoid the headlines and the additional costs associated with crisis. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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: February 02, 2021