Olds College financial statement processes need improvement, says Auditor General report

Olds College needs to improve its processes to “sustain accurate and timely financial reporting to Albertans,” according to a report.

Auditor general Doug Wylie issued unqualified or “clean” audit opinions on the financial statements of 18 of 20 post-secondary institutions in a report released Thursday – the two outliers were Olds College and Keyano College.

“Olds College has processes to prepare accurate financial statements promptly after year end, however, we observed where certain accounting and disclosure areas should be improved,” Wylie said.

“Not doing so would increase the risk the college would not sustain preparing accurate financial reporting in the future.”

This is the ninth year the auditor general has presented a report card summarizing the accuracy and timeliness of schools’ financial statements, and the status of outstanding recommendations stemming from previous audits.

Olds College is also one of six institutions needing to improve processes to monitor and annually test financial management internal controls and processes, said Wylie.

“Without effective controls, institutions increase exposure to financial errors, financial loss and reputational damage,” he said.

“Strong, sustainable processes improve management’s decision-making ability, and provide the board of governors for each institution the information it requires to exercise proper oversight.”

The five institutions needing to improve in this regard are Alberta University of the Arts, Keyano College, Lakeland College, Medicine Hat College and Portage College.

Olds College president Stuart Cullum said the college is committed to the highest standards of fiscal management and reporting.

“The college has already begun to address the items that have been highlighted in the Alberta auditor general’s report on post-secondary institutions, and will be implementing a plan to address each recommendation,” Cullum said.

Olds College is one of three institutions, alongside Athabasca University and Northern Lakes College, that improved its access controls to its information system.

The Alberta College of Arts also implemented previous recommendations for improvement.

No significant weaknesses were identified in Red Deer College’s control environment, according to the report.



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