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Audit finds errors in Clark College accounting

State says facilities dept. didn't record assets properly

By , Columbian Education Reporter
Published: April 30, 2015, 5:00pm

An audit report released Thursday by the Washington State Auditor’s Office noted that Clark College’s facilities department did not properly record capital assets, such as buildings, land and improvements, to the state.

According to the report, the facilities department was responsible for recording capital assets but did not have adequate training or knowledge to record these assets in accordance with accounting criteria or the state’s accounting manual. For example, the department recorded a building based on its budgeted cost rather than the actual cost. There was also a lack of oversight to ensure the department was recording assets correctly.

The financial statements audit examined the college from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. It identified the following accounting errors:

• The construction cost of four buildings was overstated by $7,037,089.

• Improvements of $2,346,880 were incorrectly classified as building costs.

• During the audit, the college identified two land parcels valued at $2,455,700 that were not included in the financial statements.

The audit report recommended the college “should improve internal controls over capital assets to ensure accurate reporting” and “dedicate the necessary time and resources to ensure procedures are in place, such as training and oversight to ensure capital asset balances are valid, accurate, complete and adequately supported.”

Problems corrected

Clark College corrected the errors in its final financial statements and “was proactive in taking corrective action and following up on this concern,” according to the report.

This was the first time Clark College prepared financial statements for the state auditor’s office. Previously, all Washington community colleges provided year-end financial numbers to the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, said Hannah Erickson, Clark College spokeswoman.

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