TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) significantly reduced the number of findings over a two-year period according to an operational audit released recently by the State of Florida Auditor General David Martin.
The operational audit for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, included seven (7) findings and recommendations from the Auditor General as well as the university’s response.
“We are proud of the work that our staff in the Division of Administrative and Financial Services has done to reduce the number of findings in the operational audit,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “This administration began on July 1, 2007, and there was an operational audit with 35 findings. At that time, we had been placed on probation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Board of Governors had appointed a task force to review our financial operations. When you look at the results, this team did an extraordinary job in such a short period of time. If you compare the seven findings of the current operational audit with other universities in the State University System, you would agree that we did an outstanding job.”
Teresa Hardee, chief financial officer and vice president for Administrative and Financial Services, said most of the corrective actions for these seven findings are in place already.
“We are committed to making sure that these findings are not repeated in our next operational audit,” Hardee said. “I commend my staff for a job well done.”
The findings in the operational audit were related to returned checks receivable, vendor payments, communication expenses, cellular telephones, contractual services, insurance coverage and information technology security controls.
In its response, the university agreed to implement the following to address the findings:
• Enhance the collection procedures for returned checks and will implement a check verification service.
• Implement a new imaging system to improve timeliness of processing invoices.
• Implement an Administrative Services Assistance Program that will serve as the liaison between the Controller’s Office and the various departments to ensure
that payments are processed in a timely manner.
• Revise cell phone usage procedures to enable the University to report the value of cell phone services in the income reported for the employees with assigned cell phones.
• Develop a training program for contract monitoring for the campus community and strengthening contract administration with the Purchasing Department to ensure that timely payments to contractors are for services performed.
• Institute a system of checks and balances by adding an additional reviewer to ensure the accurate and timely computation and reporting of the insurable values.
• Develop procedures to effectively maintain and monitor PeopleSoft Financial System access.
Operational audits are conducted every two years by the Auditor General. The operational audit is designed to determine whether the university’s internal controls promoted and encouraged compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, as well as contract and grant agreements.
The result of FAMU’s financial audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, will be presented in a separate report.
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