Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor
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Report Summary
Winona State University

Financial Audit For the Period
July 1, 1995, through December 31, 1996

 

Public Release Date: July 18, 1997 No. 97-39

Background Information

Winona State University (WSU) is a public, liberal arts university in the southeast corner of Minnesota. WSU was founded on September 3, 1860, as the first college in the former system of state universities and the first teacher preparation institution west of the Mississippi River. The university has a satellite campus in Rochester. WSU is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU), which began operations on July 1, 1995. Dr. Darrell W. Krueger is the current president of the university.

Objectives and Conclusions

The objectives of our audit were to gain an understanding of the internal control structure over the accounting and reporting of financial activities of the university and to determine if the university complied with material finance-related legal provisions. The areas covered by our audit were tuition and fees, payroll, administrative expenditures, bookstore activities, student union activities, health service activities, and other grants for the period July 1, 1995, through December 31, 1996. We also audited the administration of selected federal student financial aid programs for the period from July 1, 1996, to December 31, 1996.

We concluded that Winona State University had a good system of internal control over its financial management practices and generally operated in compliance with management authorizations and applicable legal requirements for the items tested. The university had a sufficient process for developing its budget and monitoring its financial operations. However, the university did not adequately control security access to its computer systems. Also, the university did not comply with certain legal provisions concerning prompt depositing of receipts and tuition waivers.

The university designed internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that it managed student financial aid programs in compliance with general and specific program requirements. However, we found that Winona State University did not properly calculate the Perkins Loan repayment amounts.

Winona State University designed and implemented controls to provide reasonable assurance that bookstore, student union, and health service's financial activities were safeguarded, accurately reported in the accounting records, and in compliance with applicable legal provisions and management authorizations.

Winona State University responded to the audit report and indicated that it concurs with most of the audit recommendations. The university expressed concern, however, that the current requirements for registering tuition waiver students was "virtually unmanageable." It urged the MnSCU system office to provide WSU with a workable alternative.

 

Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155