Monday, December 10, 2007

RW News: Received its first Unqualified Audit in Three Years

Florida A&M University (FAMU) received its first unqualified audit in three years from the Auditor General’s Office.

Auditor General David W. Martin released the executive summary and noted, “The results of our test disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.”

Earlier in the week, FAMU received preliminary and tentative findings from the Auditor General that noted a marked improvement in FAMU finances. The University moved from an inauditable financial report with 13 significant financial findings to an auditable financial statement with seven internal control findings. The report notes that these findings have either already been corrected or have been partially corrected.

“I am proud of the work of our staff,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “This means that FAMU has addressed issues in such a way that the Florida Auditor General Office has confidence in our management of the finances at FAMU.”

In her analysis of the audit statements, Teresa Hardee, chief financial officer (CFO) and vice president for Administrative and Fiscal Affairs, said that the auditors noted that the account balances and related note disclosures were a fair presentation of the university’s financial statement.

“It is difficult to put into words what a truly remarkable turnaround this represents,” said Hardee.

FAMU officials said that they anticipated some findings since this audit period reflected the financial situation prior to Dr. Ammons’ arrival. In the past two years, FAMU received qualified audits, which ultimately led to the University being placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). After reviewing documents and speaking with University leaders in October, members of the Special Committee had seven recommendations.

The Committee recommended that the University provide evidence with regard to all aspects of financial management systems as reflected by audits and management letters. The audit report provides such evidence.

Friday, FAMU submitted to SACS the audit findings in the hopes that it would satisfy their concerns. SACS will make a decision on December 11 regarding FAMU’s probationary status during the SACS meeting in Louisiana.

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