Peter M. Hughes, Ph.D., was appointed Director of Internal Audit by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in July of 1999. As Director of Internal Audit for the County of Orange, Dr. Hughes presently serves on the IIA’s Board of Education and Research Advisors and is the administrator of the Orange County Audit Oversight Committee.
Because of the tremendous and detrimental events having taken place over the last several years in the corporate world, the professionalism and independence of Internal Audit is more important than ever before. The value, credibility, and support for our reports are increased greatly by the professionalism of the audit department. Its independence, report quality, timeliness and reliability demonstrate this high level of professionalism.
Professionalism is demonstrated through widely recognized accounting and auditing certifications. Each member of the audit staff strive to achieve CPA, CIA, CISA, CFE and any other certifications that provide value to the audit function.
Independence is demonstrated through our department charter included in the webpage and a reporting relationship to the Board of Supervisors with oversight provided by the Audit Oversight Committee. Any lesser reporting relationship without each of these aspects leaves the County open for replays of what occurred at Enron, WorldCom, Tyco Global Crossing, Arthur Anderson, and unfortunately there are more examples that could be listed.
Report quality is demonstrated by a quality work process and review process. Our quality work is based on accounting and auditing standards. The review process must ensure adherence to these standards. The validation for the department’s standards and quality orientation comes by cyclical peer review.
Timeliness is demonstrated by the department’s responsiveness to demands of the organization it serves. A great report issued too late to do any good will not be highly valued. Therefore priority is given to ensure timeliness and consideration is given to narrow scopes per engagements.
Reliability is demonstrated by the department’s exacting standard for getting it right and contextually balanced. We ensure reliability by sharing the draft with the auditee and making sure the report addresses their concerns and issues.
The above description outlines our commitment to serving the Orange County Board of Supervisors as well as the intent of constituency of Orange County by safeguarding the monies we govern.