Frequently Asked Questions PDF Print E-mail

These pages provide answers to questions that we are often asked. However, if you have a question for us that is not covered below, please contact us through our INFORMATION REQUEST FORM.

What is Internal Audit?

Internal Audit is a service to the management and constituents of Summit County as an independent, objective, assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. Internal Audit can provide management with important and useful information. It can help determine whether there are appropriate internal controls over administrative processes and/or systems and recommend ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes as well as other areas. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

The Summit County Internal Audit Department (IAD) consists of auditors and staff who are County employees, who all report to the Summit County Audit Committee as mandated by Article X of the Summit County Charter.

What are the objectives of an internal audit?

The objectives of an internal audit are to:

  • Identify the areas of risk in the area being audited;
  • Identify the controls in place to address those risks and review their adequacy;
  • Check whether the County’s financial regulations are being followed;
  • Perform detailed testing of the controls being relied on; and
  • make recommendations where weaknesses or inefficiencies are observed.
  • Determining the reliability and integrity of operating and financial information.
  • Determining the degree of compliance with policies, procedures, law, and regulations.
  • Assuring assets are properly safeguarded.
  • Determining if operations are accomplishing objectives and goals.

How does Internal Audit do this?

Through independent and objective reviews of a department's operations and procedures, Internal Audit will assist you in the effective management of responsibilities by providing analysis, recommendations, and pertinent comments concerning the review activities. This involves:

  • Evaluating the soundness and adequacy of the internal control structure.
  • A review of policies, procedures, laws, and regulations to assess the County's compliance.
  • Reviewing the reliability, adequacy, and application of accounting, financial and other operating controls, and promoting effective control at reasonable cost.
  • Evaluating the reliability of internal data by reviewing controls and security features over data processing.
  • Verifying the existence of assets and ensuring that they are properly accounted for and safeguarded from loss.
  • Evaluating the economy and efficiency with which resources are used, and recommending improvements in operations.
  • Reviewing security of resources and infrastructure.
  • Conducting special examinations and reviews as requested by management.

Do professional standards apply to Internal Audit?

Yes, the Institute of Internal Auditors develop and publish professional standards, codes of conduct, and statements of responsibilities for internal auditors. Summit County’s internal auditors must complete a specified amount of annual continuing professional education hours to remain apprised of any updates of these standards as well as compliance issues of County governmental units.

What will Internal Audit do for your department?

  • Evaluate your operations and recommend ways to improve your effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Help you comply with various County, State and Federal policies.
  • Ensure that you have proper controls in place to protect employees and the County.
  • Provide advice regarding systems, policies, procedures, etc.

What activities are auditable?

Auditable activities consist of subjects, units, or systems which are capable of being defined and evaluated. These activities may include:

  • Overall operations of Offices, Courts, Agencies and their corresponding departments.
  • General ledger accounts.
  • Information systems.
  • Grants, contracts, and programs.
  • Countywide systems such as fleet management, payroll, purchasing, fixed assets, capital projects.
  • Functions such as electronic data processing, purchasing, marketing, production, finance, accounting, and human resources.
  • Transaction systems for activities such as sales, collection, purchasing, disbursement, inventory and cost accounting, production, payroll, and capital assets.
  • Laws and regulations.
  • Policies, procedures, and practices.

Why would I want to request an audit?

An audit is very beneficial to assess operations within any area of the County. If you have recently assumed new or additional supervisory responsibilities, an audit can review the procedures to assess whether internal controls in your area are adequate. A periodic "checkup” to review your department's activities can help ensure that procedures comply with County policies. It is also beneficial to assess system controls and procedures when new computer systems are installed.

Anyone within the County can request an audit, especially if you suspect fraudulent or questionable activity is occurring in your area. All requests will be evaluated, and Summit County Internal Audit Department will determine whether an investigation or review is warranted. To request an audit, please contact Internal Audit at 330-643-2504 or by email at

Can I ask Internal Audit for assistance?

Yes. Whenever resources permit, Internal Audit is happy to advise on the County’s rules and procedures, compliance matters, or assist in implementing new systems. Audits and special projects require the approval of the Audit Committee. Internal Audit aims to work in partnership to assist in improving procedures for the benefit of the County. If you need to contact someone in Internal Audit click here to be taken to our staff contacts page. Alternatively, please use our feedback facility.

How does Internal Audit decide when to perform an audit?

Internal Audit has a five-year plan that covers County operations. The audits are determined by the Countywide Risk Assessment model and the level of risk that they represent.

What happens during an internal audit?

Internal Audit initially meets with management to find out what systems are used and what controls are in place. We are required to consider operational risks and controls so we may discuss areas such as safety and information systems as well as controls over financial processes. We may also need further interviews with other members of staff to obtain more detailed information on the controls that are used.

Tests are carried out to check that controls are adequate and are operating effectively. This may require sampling, observing work being performed, reviewing notes of meetings and holding discussions.

We will then meet again with the designated management lead assigned to oversee the audit to discuss our findings and any recommendations we wish to make in the report.

After this meeting, a draft report is produced. The report includes an action plan that summarizes the recommendations, the agreed actions and timeframes for implementation.

Management will be asked to comment on the factual accuracy of the report before it is finalized. As all the findings will have been discussed before the report was produced, there should not be any surprises in what it says.