The audit committee serves as the guardian of an institution's most valuable asset: its reputation. As colleges and universities have become subject to intense scrutiny, the result is a new institutional focus on accountability, transparency, and enterprise risk management, as well as efficient and effective operation. This booklet shows how audit committees meet these concerns through the preparation of accurate and timely financial statements, adequate internal controls, compliance with laws and regulations, and, in some cases, management of operating risks.
This publication is part of the Effective Committee Series, which is devoted to strengthening the role of key standing committees of governing boards. While there is no optimal committee system for institutions of higher education, certain principles, practices, and procedures prevail. The best practices outlined in this publication support the objectives of board committees: focused effort, informed decision making, and self-management.