|Public Release Date: September 10, 1999||No. 99-48|
Minnesota West Community and Technical College (MnWest) is a community and technical college accessible to students at five southwestern Minnesota campuses: Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, Pipestone, and Worthington. MnWest has an annual enrollment of approximately 2,050 students. Dr. Ron Wood was appointed president of the MnWest College on July 22, 1998.
Our audit scope included a review of financial management, tuition, fees, customized training revenues, resale revenues, employee and student payroll, selected expenditure areas, and bookstore operations for the period July 1, 1995, through June 30, 1998. We also examined the administration of student financial aid programs for fiscal year 1999.
MnWest designed and implemented internal controls to provide reasonable assurance that it operated within available resources and properly recorded its financial activities in the accounting system. However, we noted that the college did not restrict certain computer access privileges over tuition, payroll/personnel, administrative expenditures, and the bookstore area. Mitigating controls were recommended as a means of reducing risk where separation of duties is not feasible.
The college designed and implemented internal controls over tuition, fees, and customized training revenues and various expenditure areas, including payroll and student financial aid. Controls provided reasonable assurance that transactions were accurately reported in the accounting records and in compliance with applicable legal provisions and management's authorization. Two findings discuss ways to improve controls by implementing an independent review of SEMA4 payroll processing reports for hourly employees and documenting receipt of goods and invoice payment authorizations.
MnWest did not, however, develop sufficient internal controls over resales and bookstore revenues to ensure that assets were safeguarded, and revenues were accurately reported in the accounting records and in compliance with management's authorization. We noted weaknesses over deposit verification and inventory for resale activities and separation of bookstore duties, and suggested mitigating controls where separation of duties is not feasible. We also found that bookstore financial statements do not reflect all operating costs such as rent and utilities.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College agreed with the audit findings and is taking corrective action to resolve the issues.