Using the NCUA Examiner's Guide for an Internal Control Audit

Credit union internal audit programs are critical to their organization’s success. They keep everything running smoothly and as it should. They also ensure a clear path to growth—all while staying partially independent from the rest of the credit union.

But often, that independence makes internal audit feel disconnected. Without the direct support of the rest of the credit union, many auditors must turn to outside agencies and peers to get the help they need.

These resources may help your internal audit program plan, develop procedures, and find the help you need.

1.  The Credit Union Audit Checklist

We first created our audit checklist years ago. Since then, it has been downloaded countless times completely free.

It helps auditors outline key roles, expected due dates, and focus areas. It also helps them uncover historical results and data so that your team can leverage the past.

This checklist is a simple but effective tool for preparing previous data, making plans, and provides a few suggested procedures.

2.  Our Findings Accountability Framework

Our one-hour webinar is a masterclass in developing an efficient, effective process for clearing findings on time and as expected. Like the checklist, there is no obligation or purchase necessary.

Credit union auditors who have attended have improved their findings process. Our framework has helped audit teams clear more than 85% of findings on time. Better yet, they’ve cut administrative time by as much as 50%.

Granted, the auditors who see the best results use our framework in conjunction with our credit union audit software.

3.  The NCUA Examiner’s Guide

We strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with the NCUA examiner’s guide. There are few other documents out there that will better prepare you for understanding the NCUA’s regulatory methods and priorities.

In particular, they outline several strategies and priorities to address your organization’s improvement in the following areas:

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

So, from risk management, to control systems, to governance processes, they’ll provide necessary insight.

4.  Review the Three Lines of Defense

The three lines of defense is a common way of looking at risk management. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) developed a complex structure to describe their new “three lines of defense” model. However, the original, simplified version is just as valid today—especially for credit union internal audit programs.

The three lines are, roughly:

  • Risk owners and managers
  • Risk control and compliance
  • Risk assurance

We recommend reading more about how these lines of defense pertain to credit union auditors here and here.

5.  Compliance Blogs

There’s always something new in credit union compliance. As new technologies, systems, and strategies emerge, so do new risks.

We like to keep up on the latest by reading the best credit union compliance blogs.

Thanks for reading, and happy auditing!

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Written By Brad Powell

Brad Powell runs Redboard, a company that helps credit unions better respond to regulatory examinations. He has 20 years of experience developing technology for credit unions and financial services companies.
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