First Posted: 5/9/2009
LUMBERTON Robeson Community College is putting into place procedures
designed to correct problems found during a recent audit.
The college has already taken steps to improve our processes here,
President Charles Chrestman said. Naturally its nice if there are no
findings. But, they are a good thing. With this case they are helpful
The audit, for the period of June 30, 2007, to July 1, 2008, was
completed in February. It said the college overstated money in three
accounts, failed to properly monitor inventory, and did not consider
improvements or costs within the schools transportation system.
Following recommendations from the Office of the State Auditor Beth
Wood, Chrestman has since submitted the colleges response to her
We are going to act on their observations, Chrestman said. Its
just good business practice. The audits are conducted to help
organizations get better.
In a letter to Chrestman, Wood said the findings in the audit are not
considered final until we evaluate your written responses.
The audit said that the colleges financial statements contained
misstatements that could have been misleading to readers.
It said the college overstated accounts receivable by $1 million
because the college included a grant awarded for construction on the
Workforce Development Center.
We were actually advised by the previous years audit committee to go
ahead and put it on the books, Chrestman said. This is an
interpretive thing between the auditors and well do it however they
want. We were just going on what we were advised to do last year.
Chrestman said the money was initially recorded as a year-end
adjustment, and said the college will now present the $1 million in
the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009.
In addition, the audit found that the college overstated accounts
payable by $450,283 and federal grants, contracts and accounts
receivable by $289,888. Both errors were attributed to the failure to
reverse a prior year accrual transaction.
Chrestman said the college will follow the states recommendation to
devote more resources to the year-end financial reporting process and
implement effective internal controls to ensure the accuracy of the
Problems within the schools inventory procedures were also identified.
At no time in the inventory process is the assets existence verified
by anyone aside from the custodian of the asset, the audit said.
An example that was cited was a data projector that was checked out by
an employee in the media department in 2002 and never returned. The
employee who used the equipment has since resigned. The audit said the
college failed to acknowledge or investigate the missing equipment.
The college has agreed to reassign inventory to someone other than the
person responsible for receiving, checking in, tagging and recording
of the assets. That will be done before June 30.
The audit also said the college did not have procedures in place to
monitor transportation costs of the Basic Skills program, which costs
the school $459,000 a year in grant money. The college has used the
same vendor for transportation services for several years and has not
submitted bids to explore lower fares, the report said.
Mileage, which payments are based upon, is determined by the driver
and the college has not checked the miles to see if they are
The college could be paying for excessive costs or for services not
received, the audit said.
Student riders are required to sign a daily log when they are
transported, but the audit said those logs were never reviewed.
Using a sample of 23 students, the auditors found that students only
attended classes 53 percent of the time and that mileage
reimbursements were not made for student absences.
Chrestman said the college will conduct periodic checks of the logs
and said the school will advertise for bids before the upcoming school
Overall, the findings were minor in nature, Chrestman said. These
are just what I consider minor businesses practices that will make our
college more accountable to the general public and their tax dollars.