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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary
Central Lakes College

Financial Audit For the
Period July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1998


Public Release Date: May 14, 1999 No. 99-27


Central Lakes College was created on July 1, 1995, when the Brainerd Community College merged with the Brainerd Staples Technical College. The individual colleges merged with other state universities, community colleges, and technical colleges to form the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

Our audit scope included a review of college financial management, tuition and fees, payroll, operating expenditures, and bookstore operations for the period July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1998. We also audited the administration of federal and state student financial aid programs for fiscal year 1999.


Central Lakes College operated within its available resources and had an effective process to monitor revenue and expenditure budgets. The college had adequate controls in place to provide reasonable assurance that financial activities were properly recorded on MnSCU accounting and MAPS.

Regarding the college's general financial management, the college was not able to reconcile its cash balance recorded on the MnSCU accounting system to the bank statements and did not evaluate its collateral balance for its local account. The college also did not monitor the status of its operating relationship with the college foundation, and needs to improve its security controls over college computerized business systems.

Central Lakes College also had internal control weaknesses and some instances of noncompliance with state and federal requirements related to tuition receipts, payroll, the bookstore, and student financial aid. The college did not promptly deposit tuition and customized training receipts with the state treasury and did not adequately safeguard tuition and fee revenues. The college did not monitor tuition administrative adjustments. The college did not adequately separate personnel and payroll functions and did not separate the work-study payroll input and disbursing functions. The college did not consistently conduct annual employee evaluations. The financial aid office had unnecessary access to financial aid checks. The Staples campus bookstore lacked proper separation of duties. The college did not complete a physical inventory of equipment, did not provide adequate security for the business office, and did not adequately safeguard newly purchased supplies and equipment in the bookstore and the maintenance room.

Central Lakes College agreed with the audit findings and has already taken significant action towards resolving the findings.

More Information

Office of the Legislative Auditor, Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155 : or 651‑296‑4708