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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grambling gets unqualified audit, continues to make progress

Grambling State University President Horace Judson says the school is taking the necessary steps to rectify accounting problems brought to light by a recently released report by the Louisiana legislative auditor.

“I’m happy with what we’ve done,” Judson said.

“But we’ve got to do more.”

The most recent report found that GSU understated its operating loss by $1.3 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008, inaccurately reported and misclassified many account balances, submitted an inaccurate Annual Fiscal Report for the second straight year, could not locate nearly $1 million worth of property, conducted business with vendors and other institutions without having current valid contracts, did not adequately report athletic revenues and did not effectively pursue the collection of funds owed the university.

Although the report highlighted myriad accounting problems, the audit was still unqualified, meaning auditor’s were able to accurately assess the school’s financial health.

Unlike other area schools who are audited every other year, GSU requested to be audited every year and has done so since Judson took over in 2004.

“We’re trying to achieve excellence, every year we put ourselves to the test,” Judson said.

Judson said that doing an audit every year makes keeping up with new accounting standards that are added each year difficult for the school’s staff.

Frequent turnover in the business department likely also led to some of the errors cited in the report, Judson said.

Randy Moffett, president of the University of Louisiana system, said GSU is moving in the right direction to correct the findings of the audit.

“We are pleased with Grambling’s unqualified audit, which shows improvement over last year,” he said.

“The university responded appropriately to all findings, and system staff continues to work closely with university staff to ensure continued improvement.”


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