05 July 2023
RSM, with the support of the Confederation of School Trusts (CST), surveyed academy trust executive management and board members to gather insights into the perception of internal scrutiny.
In undertaking this survey, our aim was to understand how the trustee board uses the trust’s risk management system to assure itself that the control environment is effective. The survey also sought to understand respondent views on the effectiveness of internal audit as a key source of independent assurance in the internal scrutiny programme.
We asked executive management and board members about their perception of the effectiveness of the internal control environment. The outcomes are summarised below.*
Measuring the effectiveness of the internal control environment
Internal audit is vital in the programme of internal scrutiny, adding most value when its remit extends to both financial and non-financial controls. There appears to be increasing recognition of this within the sector however, there remain some outliers, despite the clear messaging on this matter in the Academy Trust Handbook. Overall, 17% of respondents either strongly disagree, disagree or neither agree nor disagree that internal audit’s value extends beyond financial controls testing, to include non-financial controls.
Below we summarise the survey outcomes from executive management and board members on the role of internal audit.
The role of internal audit
*Key finding responses above either strongly agree or agree with the statement.
To learn more about the outcomes of our survey and our top 10 key considerations for improving internal scrutiny, download our report below.