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Internal controls

Internal control is a process, affected by management, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency of operations
  • Reliability of financial reporting
  • Compliance with applicable laws and regulations

Internal controls apply to all University departments and operations. Understanding internal controls provides an additional reference tool for all employees to identify and assess operating controls, financial reporting, and legal/regulatory compliance processes and to take action to strengthen controls where needed. By developing effective systems of internal control, we can contribute to enhancing the University’s ability to meet its objectives and reducing the potential liability from fines and penalties that could be imposed for violations.


The examples and checklists in this guide should not be interpreted as an all-inclusive list of all controls appropriate for each department. With time, control processes can be expected to change to reflect changes in the operating environment.

Information regarding roles, components of internal controls, best practices, and responsibilities at the department level can be found by accessing the various tabs under the Internal Controls section. Additionally, internal controls checklists  can be located in the forms section of the Division of Finance website. The checklists have been designed to provide the campus community with  tools for evaluating their internal controls structure and general compliance by business process. An additional tool has been designed by Accounting Services to assist divisions and departments in evaluating and assessing fiscal and human resources operations. An internal review questionnaire, testing steps, executive summary template, and suggested recommendations are available to the various divisions and departments. Contact Accounting Services for more information about this tool.


MU Accounting

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