In the Spring of 2008, Babson College, Brandeis University, Berklee College of Music and Wheaton College collaborated on a Co-Source Internal Audit program. Each school participating in the shared internal audit group contributes to the funding of this program. In 2010 Bentley University and Olin College joined the group.
Co-Sourced Internal Audit Charter
Samantha Spezeski was hired by these four institutions as the shared Director of Internal Audit to manage the day-to-day internal audit function, evaluate operations and internal controls, ensure policies and procedures are followed by all employees and adherence to applicable laws, regulations, and practices affecting the institutions.
Internal Audit Co-Source Initiative
The initial Internal Audit Co-Source Initiative came to fruition in 2005 with member schools Babson, Brandeis, Berklee, Olin, Wellesley and Wheaton selecting the Grant Thornton firm as their collaborative Internal Audit service provider. With seed money from the Mellon Foundation providing stimulus for the inaugural year, each institution committed to two dedicated audits over an 18 month term with the Grant Thornton engagement team.
Maureen Murphy, AVP of Financial Management & University Controller at Brandeis was Chairperson of this group. The Grant Thornton team worked with each school in the development of a mutually acceptable audit plan to complement other recognized campus work. The results of this project were integrated or shared with the audit committee at each member school.
At the same time, the schools worked together wherever possible to share information and provide the Grant Thornton development team data for the development of a Common Higher Education Risk Model in which business cycles like Governance, Payroll, Treasury and IT could be measured and compared in a risk analysis matrix by risk type, risk weight and controls found to be in place.
The design of the Internal Audit Co-Source Initiative was one of continuous improvement and that touched virtually every aspect of a collegeís operations in an effort to improve efficiencies and reduce financial risk.