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Get busy... Here comes the auditor!
Following are some questions about Internal Controls as they might relate to the Human Resources function. Take the test and see if it suggests areas in need of improvement! Two levels of questions have been organized here. The general questions relate to the Human Resource function, but, relate to other functional areas as well. The HR Specific, of course, relate only to the Human Resources function.
- Do staff know what information they can and cannot give out and who has a "need to know"?
- Is office secured at the end of workday? Do all employees know the routine for locking up if they are the last person out? Is all equipment shut off, including lights, radios, PCs, fans, etc. ? Are windows secured?
- Are files locked to prevent unauthorized access?
- Are desktops cleared at the end of the workday and sensitive materials placed in a locked drawer?
- Are paper shredders used for confidential materials? (With recyling, we have heard of instances where trash was read by maintenance workers?
- Do you have a policy on the personal use of telephones, fax machines, xerox machines and other equipment (ie., PCs and typewriters)?
- Do you have an equipment loan policy and a checkout procedure for cases where employees need equipment to work at home?
- Do you have a policy dealing with changing passwords for employees who access electronic data files, use voice mail, etc.? Do employees know the password protection, creation, and change procedures and how to use them?
- Do employees use screen savers to prevent others from seeing information on their screens (for example, test questions on a departmental secretaries PC monitor) when they are away from their desks?
- Do employees have backup copies of important electronic files?
- Do employees lock their PCs at night, or if no locks provided, do they require passwords to access their PCs to prevent unauthorized access?
- Do you have a policy dealing with the use of "pirated" software?
- Do you have a policies dealing with eating at desks, coffee breaks, keeping food and drinks away from PCs and other equipment, and what is considered proper dress?
- Do you have surge protectors installed on all sensitive electronic equipment (PCs, etc.)?
- Do you have filing standards to ensure that files are maintained neatly and properly (ie., edges are even on stapled materials, most recent materials on top/bottom, only materials that should be in official personnel files are placed in them, office employees know what materials employees have access to in their folders, etc.) ?
- Do your employees write down telephone messages immediately so they do not forget? Do telephone messages include date, time, and call back numbers?
- Do members of the staff make sure someone in the office knows where they are going and how long they will be gone when they leave their offices during the workday?
- Do you have a policy on the use of equipment and supplies for work on behalf of charitable organizations with which staff are associated?
- Do you have a forms inventory system that ensures that you do not run out of forms needed to complete personnel transactions and for employees to manage their benefits?
- Are forms maintained in an organized manner so that anyone in the office can find them even in the absence of the employee(s) directly responsible for them?
- Do you have an system that ensures an adequate inventory of office supplies?
- Do you have a system which ensures that obsolete forms and procedural guides are destroyed when new ones are issued?
- Do you have a centralized filing system organized so that anyone can find things?
- Are receipts written and copies maintained for all cash transactions?
- Do you verify credentials of candidates recommended for appointment?
- Do your procedures ensure that new appointees complete a timely I-9 form before being paid?
- Do you have a separation procedure that ensures that all obligations to the employer are satisfied before a separating employee is cleared to receive her/his last check?
- If student employees have access to personnel files, are they instructed about confidentiality and asked to sign a statement attesting to their compliance?
- Are members of search committees instructed on what questions can be asked of candidates, and, more importantly, the types of questions that are prohibited?
- Are there written procedures governing departmental level administration of time and attendance, leave accruals and control over paychecks?
- Is there a formal program to monitor and control employee use of sick leave?
- Is staffing sufficient in the personnel and payroll departments to promote adequate separation of duties?
- Are payroll transactions initiated only by the Personnel Office?
- Does the Personnel Office make sure that all payroll transactions are properly documented?
- Does the Personnel Office verify payroll registers by making sure that the registers accurately reflect the transactions processed?
- Do employees have access to time records after supervisory approval?
- Are procedures in effect to ensure that employees do not accrue sick leave while on sabbatical leave or on a leave of absence?
- Does the accrual system ensure that employees cannot be credited for more than the maximum allowable for the leave category?
- Are rules and regulations for employees set forth in writing?
- Are probationary periods used effectively to screen out appointees who do not fit the job?
- Are evaluations done in a timely and effective manner?
- Are employees reminded as they approach age 65 to enroll in medicare?
- How long does it take to get a new employee on the payroll?