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FAQ
 
How will I know if I am going to be receiving a visit from the Audit Section?

Typically Pobal make contact by phone 2 weeks in advance to notify of the date of the visit.

 
Why were we picked for an audit visit?

All Groups that are in contract with Pobal may be subject to verification visits periodically within the terms of their contract.

 

The Audit Section select Groups based on risk analysis which is determined by a number of factors including geographical location, value of funding received, multiplicity of grants received, as well as some random selections. From time to time the Audit Section may be informed of suspected fraudulent activities in relation to the Groups receiving funding, which are assessed and may prompt an audit visit.

 
What is the role of the Audit Function?

The Audit Function discharges its responsibilities by critically and objectively examining on a risk-focused basis;
• The adequacy and reliability of systems and procedures
• Compliance with public accountability requirements
• Compliance with EU Regulations (where applicable)
• Compliance with management controls
• Compliance with strategic plans, annual plans and approved budgets
• The reliability and integrity of management information
• Arrangements for the acquisition, custody and disposal of assets as appropriate, and for verifying their existence and by identifying and reporting deficiencies or weaknesses in systems and controls and making appropriate recommendations.
 

In order to do this the Audit Function carry out a number of on-site verification visits/audits each year.

 
We've been audited before by Pobal but have recently been notified of another visit, why?

Typically where a Group are in receipt of further funding (under the same or a new funding stream) since the last verification visit they may be selected again in order to validate the related expenditure. In some cases the Audit Function may also wish to follow up on some matters arising from the previous verification visit.

 
We're no longer in receipt of funding through Pobal, why are we being audited?

Although you are no longer in receipt of any funding, Pobal may wish to validate funding you received in the past as audits/verification visits by their nature are always historic. It is important that all such documentation is retained in line with the grant conditions to facilitate this process.

 
We have an Auditor who prepares our audited accounts each year, why do Pobal also need to do an audit?

Your (external) auditor performs an audit of the financial statements and as such their scope differs from the work Pobal's Audit function performs. The primary role of external auditor is to present an unbiased and independent evaluation of the organisation and express an opinion on whether an entity's financial statements are free of material misstatements. External auditors assess whether the organisation’s financial statements are a true and fair representation of its actual financial position.

 

The independence of external auditors is crucial to a correct and thorough appraisal of an entity's financial controls and statements. Pobal's audit team essentially carry out on-the-spot checks to ensure that grant funding is spent in accordance with the rules of the particular strand(s) of funding and in compliance with their contractual obligations .The audits/verification visit will also assess whether the organisation has effective controls and structures in place to manage the grant funding.

 
Who needs to be there when the verification visit is on-going?

It is important that the Manager is present at certain intervals throughout the audit i.e. the beginning and end of the audit as well as at some stage in the intervening period (can be agreed) to provide clarifications as required. The person who prepares the returns to Pobal i.e. administrator/finance manager must be present throughout the audit process although their assistance will only be required on an intermittent basis. The Chairperson may wish to be present, however this is not essential.

 
How long will the verification visit take?

It is difficult to say exactly how long it will take as it really depends on a number of factors including the number of grants, value of grants, time elapsed since last visit etc. When Pobal phone to arrange a verification visit they provide an indication of the approximate duration based on the specific information for your organisation.

 

This may change depending on the level of information available etc. and obviously having more information you have prepared in advance will result in a more efficient use of the auditor/verification officers time. The audit staff member will keep you informed of the progress during their visit.

 
What sort of work will the Auditor be doing?

The verification work will focus mainly on the returns submitted to Pobal and the adherence to procedures as requested by Pobal in relation to the grant funding. The verification/audit work also includes a review of the organisations practices, procedures in relation to corporate governance and financial management.

 
Do I need to allocate some office space for the auditor to work from?

Our auditor will need some desk space to work from, this can be a spare desk among your own staff or ideally a free office/meeting room in your premises.