Michael Johnson presents at TASBO annual conference

Multiethnic business people working together in the office

Michael Johnson, principal at Bridgepoint Consulting and head of its IT services practice, was a featured presenter at the annual TASBO (Texas Association of School Board Officials) Conference in February. Johnson’s presentation to the group of school board officials was titled Dymystifying Internal Audit.

Johnson presented about how internal audit can be more than a “gotcha” function and can provide real value to school districts. The session provided audience memebers with an increased understanding of what internal audit really involves and the benefits it can deliver. Here is a summary of topics that Johnson covered:

  • Enhancing fiduciary responsibilities: Every school district is ultimately responsible for providing the best services possible to its students. This starts with “tone at the top” governance that cascades from the Board to all district personnel. Internal audit can enhance the effectiveness of district operations by ongoing assessment, monitoring and recommendations.
  • Assessing and managing risks: Internal audit has evolved beyond ticking and tying numbers from the business office to assessing risks across the entire district.  The result of district-wide risk assessment enables audit activity that can be focused on the areas in most need. Performing and routinely updating a thorough risk assessment, with consideration to the internal control environment, provides the foundation for an effective audit plan.
  • Fraud prevention/detection: Fraud happens. Even in your district. There is no silver bullet to totally prevent fraud. However, internal audit can serve a crucial role with risk management through its presence and monitoring role.
  • Improving systems, processes and internal controls: Internal audit can be a trusted advisor without compromising independence. An effective function does not only spotlight negative findings, but recommends solutions to create valuable systems, processes and controls.