Frequently Asked Questions
The nature of the audit will determine the types of documents and data required for the audit. Award documents, general ledger data, program and financial reports, and current salary scales are examples of generally requested information. The external agency will usually provide you with a list of requested documents. Be sure to provide copies and retain the original documents.
It is the University's policy to fully cooperate with external agencies performing audits. If you are contacted directly by an agency wishing to conduct an audit, you should contact Audit & Advisory Services immediately to seek assistance. Generally, external auditors have the right to:
- Review and evaluate any topics within the scope defined in the auditor's announced plan.
- Reasonable access to any records pertaining to their review topics.
- Conduct their work in a constructive and cooperative environment during normal working hours.
- Gain factual answers to their questions.
- Ask questions of any employee.
- Use University facilities and equipment appropriate to their assignment.
- Audit Opening: Notification, initial discussions, communication regarding the audit plan, opening conference.
- Fieldwork: Performing the audit.
- Report: Draft audit report, discussion of management corrective actions, closing conference, and final report.
Federal audits are generally based on pre-defined audit criteria. The terms and conditions section of the award document may include specific requirements, in addition to the key policies and regulations that generally apply to federal awards:
- OMB Circular A–21 provides principles for determining the cost applicable to research and development, training, and other sponsored work performed by colleges and universities under grants, contracts, and other agreements with the federal government.
- OMB Circular A–110 establishes uniform administrative requirements for federal grants and agreements awarded to institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations.
- OMB Circular A–133 establishes audit requirements for institutions of higher education and other non-profit institutions receiving federal awards.
- The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and agency supplements set forth uniform policies and procedures for the acquisition of goods and services with funds from federal agencies.
Sponsor contracting officers submit requests to the sponsor's Office of Inspector General to perform these audits. Deciding factors usually include the types and dollar amounts of awards.
UCSB is subject to audit by various federal agencies because it is the recipient of significant research dollars from the federal government. Federal and state agencies that frequently perform audits at UCSB include:
- National Science Foundation — Office of Inspector General
- National Institute of Health — Office of Inspector General
- Department of Defense — Office of Inspector General
- Office of Naval Research
- Bureau of State Audits
Auditors from private sponsors also perform pre and post award audits at UCSB.
The University of California also contracts with an external independent public accounting firm (currently PricewaterhouseCoopers) to perform the required annual financial statement A-133 audits for the University of California system