|Public Release Date: July 16, 1999||No. 99-36|
Northwest Technical College consists of five campuses, located in Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, East Grand Forks, Moorhead, and Wadena. Some college functions, such as tuition collections and bookstore sales, occur on each campus. For functions such as human resources and payroll, financial aid administration, and purchasing and administrative expenditures, the college has centralized its processes by assigning responsibility for the entire institution to an individual campus.
Our audit scope included a review of college financial management, the cashiering function for tuition and fees, bookstore, and other receipts, payroll, purchasing and administrative expenditures, and the laptop computer lease program 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.
Our audit found that Northwest Technical 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 most financial activities were properly recorded in the accounting systems. However, we found that the college did not record certain small account balances on the accounting system and did not provide full accrual accounting for its bookstores and laptop computer program. Also, the college did not execute contracts with certain of its service providers, including its affiliated foundations. In addition, the college did not perform certain key reconciliations.
There were several internal control issues related to cashiering, administrative expenditures, the laptop computer program, and student financial aid. The college did not maintain an adequate separation of duties within cashiering. In addition, the college did not adequately control computer access. We also noted several instances of noncompliance with federal regulations within the financial aid programs.
It its response, Northwest Technical College agreed with the audit findings and is taking corrective action to resolve the issues.