I developed the Internal Control All-Star badge course in an on-demand format. However, I soon realized that some prefer more interaction and discussion about the materials covered.  In response, I organized the first in-person Internal Control All-Star session, where five new Internal Control All-Stars earned their credentials. 

Several colleges, departments, and individuals have found value in the WSU Internal Control All-Star credential, with more than 100 All-Stars earning recognition already. Under the leadership of Dean Marie Bukowski, the College of Fine Arts has 15 All-Stars. I recently met with them to express my appreciation and inquire about their most memorable takeaways.

Everyone has a role in internal control. Those earning the WSU Internal Control All-Star digital credential have demonstrated their understanding of their vital contribution to the university's internal control system. President Muma recently recognized the Internal Control All-Stars with his Rick Rewards for January 2024.

Internal controls help keep our resources applied to our mission and the university's arrow pointing up! Here, you can watch the full 20-minute internal control video uninterrupted. Take a 12-question quiz to reinforce your understanding and learn how to earn a digital credential as a WSU Internal Control All-Star.

What can happen in a department with a poor control environment, where controls are lax, oversight is poor, and no one says anything or follows up? Here, we review what a California university learned when the control environment in one of its departments was lacking.

The final component of our internal control pyramid, monitoring, appropriately resides at the pyramid's apex. Our last video segment recaps how everyone in an organization has a role in internal control and the characteristics an organization "in control" demonstrates.

Information and communication affect all the other components of internal control. Of course, information and communication are not unique to internal control. They're essential for almost all organizational activities, as a few passages from the autobiography of a childhood football hero of mine illustrate.

"Auditor" comes from the Latin audire, "to hear," "a listener."  Does your work include audit-like responsibilities? If you review, verify, evaluate, grade, consult, or troubleshoot, the answer is "yes!" Control activities help you carry out your responsibilities so WSU, your college, and your department can realize its goals or objectives.

We've been using a pyramid to illustrate the five interrelated components of internal control. At the pyramid's core is our second component, risk assessment—identifying and analyzing relevant threats to achieving an organization's strategic and operational objectives with a forward-looking focus.

Tone at the Top provides the foundation for an organization's control environment. But Tone at the Top does not come only from top management. There is a trickle-down effect that can originate from many positions. You set the tone in your area of influence.