Office of the Internal Auditor Howard University
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Page Index:

Message from the President
What is Internal Auditing?
Mission Statement
Organizational Location
Types of Audits
How Can I Reach the Office of the Internal Auditor
Audit Plans
Internal Audit Staff


Internal auditing is an important financial and management control function and like other developments in university administration, government, and industry, it has grown in response to a definite need. As a general rule, when an organization is small, its management is able to maintain close contact with operations. When this same organization expands in size and volume of operations, however, close contact becomes impracticable. Management finds greater difficulty in determining how well policies and procedures are being implemented. Thus, management has become increasingly conscious of and dependent on a program of internal review and appraisal.

At Howard University, the need for an internal auditing function evolved with the increasing scope and complexity of University operations. This recognition of need culminated in the formal establishment of the internal audit organization by the Howard University Board of Trustees.

I fully support the need for an Office of the Internal Auditor. I encourage you to contact this office when you see operational issues that are questionable from an effectiveness and efficiency point of view.

Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D.


Internal auditing is the independent review and evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency with which managerial responsibilities are being carried out. It is an independent appraisal of financial, operational, and support activities focused on providing a protective and constructive service to management.


The Office of the Internal Auditor provides an independent evaluation service to University management. The goals of this service is to minimize risk to the resources and program objectives of the University and its affiliated organizations and to maximize the efficient and effective use of University assets through planned operational, EDP, and financial audits and reviews.

The Office of the Internal Auditor develops an annual audit plan employing fundamentals of risk analysis. Using this plan and special requests for audits, the Office objectively examines and evaluates the financial, administrative, and operational controls, procedures, policies, and systems of the various operating elements of the University. Based on findings of the audits and reviews, audit reports are issued with recommendations for improving systems, procedures and controls that will safeguard University resources, promote strategic and program objectives, and produce cost savings or better use of University resources.


The internal audit function is placed organizationally within the President's Office and is responsible to the President and to the Audit and Legal Committee of the Howard University Board of Trustees. Audit reports are sent to the auditee, the University President and the Chair, Audit and Legal Committee of the University's Board of Trustees.


The two principal types of audits performed by the Office of the Internal Auditor are operational audits and financial audits. Operational audits assess the managerial internal controls within the organization being audited. The Auditor's efforts are directed towards determining whether controls exist, whether controls are adhered to, whether controls are effective and whether operational improvements are possible. The auditee's operation is also evaluated for efficiency and effectiveness with the intent of providing constructive suggestions for improvement. Financial audits are focused on determining and assessing the accuracy and documentary support for data that appear in financial reports, budget reports, statistical reports, accounting reports, and formal financial statements. In most cases, the Auditor is provided a financial report and is required to work backwards to validate the data and to determine that appropriate disclosures are made.

Recently, internal audit operations have begun conducting information systems audits.
The scope of these audits include data processing management, systems conversion, testing, and operational processes. Information systems audits are concerned primarily with determining that University applications can be relied upon to operate as intended.

The Office of the Internal Auditor conducts special request audits when audit resources allow.


The OFFICE phone number is (202)238-2470.

The HOTLINE phone number is (202) 238-2479.

Calls to both numbers will be handled in an anonymous or confidential manner, in accordance with the University’s HOTLINE policy. Please read the policy at

Office of the Internal Auditor
Howard University
2225 Georgia Avenue, NW
Suite 701
Washington, DC 20059

Voice: 202-238-2470
Fax: 202-588-9839/9835

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