LUMBERTON — Robeson Community College officials say that deficiencies found in the school’s financial reporting during a state audit are about “presentation,” not substance.
The audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, was conducted by the Office of the State Auditor. An “unqualified opinion” — the highest rating available — was issued, despite some deficiencies that were found in how college staff categorized entries in financial statements. The audit revealed no evidence of fraud or missing funds.
According to the audit, there were instances when financial entries were place in the wrong categories, resulting in some accounts showing an overstatement of receivables and others an understatement. One example was that RCC’s intergovernmental receivables were overstated by $257,811, a result of accounting methods being used that resulted in a payment to the school from another government agency not being recorded. That left the appearance that the college was owed more money than it was actually owed.
The college also incorrectly classified its net asset balances, resulting in net assets restricted for scholarships and fellowships, capital projects, and specific programs accounts to be understated by $302,065, $39,316 and $100,000 respectively, the audit said. Unrestricted net assets were overstated by $424,040.
Pamela Hilbert, RCC’s president since March, said that all college funds are accounted for, although some were classified in ways that were not acceptable to state auditors.
“ The auditors did not tell me they have any major concerns,” Hilbert said. “Being president, if there were major concerns, I would have been told.”
College officials say they have already implemented corrective procedures recommended by the auditors. Among the recommendations of the auditors is that the college place more of an emphasis on the year-end financial reporting process, as well as strengthen internal controls to ensure accuracy.
“The auditor recommended the adjustments noted in the report, and the college concurred with those adjustments,” George Regan, chairman of RCC’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “There is no indication of mismanagement and the adjustments make the financial reporting consistent with other colleges.”