Internal Control is a process, affected by the those charged with governance, management, and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of the entity’s objectives relating to operations, reporting, and compliance.
To put it simply, internal controls are an exercise of common sense. You are practicing good internal controls when you:
- Balance your checkbook
- Save for a car or retirement
- Keep copies of your tax return
- Compare your monthly credit card statement to the credit card receipts
- Lock your car doors
Internal controls are an integral part of any organization’s policies and procedures. Internal controls consist of all the measures taken by the College:
1. To promote orderly, economical, efficient and effective operations and to produce quality products and services consistent with the organization’s mission;
2. To safeguard resources against loss due to waste, abuse, mismanagement, errors and fraud;
3. To ensure adherence to (SUNY, New York State and Federal) laws, regulations, contracts and management directives; and
4. To develop and maintain reliable financial and management data, and to accurately present that data in timely reports.
To clarify, Internal Control is…
- A process. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
- Put into effect by people. It’s not merely policy manuals and forms, but people functioning at every level of the institution.
- Geared to the achievement of objectives in several overlapping categories.
- Provides reasonable assurance to an institution’s leaders regarding achievement of operational, financial reporting and compliance objectives.