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3 golden objects Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Legislative Auditor - Financial Audit Division

Report Summary

Financial-Related Audit

Minnesota Historical Society

July 1, 1997, through June 30, 2001

Overall Conclusion

For the selected programs we audited, the Minnesota Historical Society properly safeguarded its assets and reasonably and prudently administered its financial activities. The Minnesota Historical Society's internal controls provided reasonable assurance that it administered its grant and capital project expenditures in compliance with applicable legal provisions, grant agreements, and management's authorization. For the items tested, the Society complied with the significant legal provisions concerning grant and capital project expenditures. Generally, the Society properly recorded its state-owned historic sites admission receipts the on the state's accounting system and complied with applicable finance-related legal provisions and policies.

Current Finding and Recommendations

The Society did not ensure that state-owned historic sites' admission receipts were deposited or recorded in a timely manner. The state-owned historic sites deposited 16 of 34 revenue transactions tested between two and five days after receipt. In addition, the Society did not enter some receipt transactions in the state's accounting system until up to three weeks after receipt. The Society's deposit process involved various steps that added to the delay in entering the transactions into the state's accounting system. The Society may want to consider ways to streamline this process so that they can more timely enter the receipts on the accounting system. We recommended that the state-owned historic sites deposit their admission receipts daily and that the Society record receipt transactions on the state's accounting system at the time of deposit.


The Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Minnesota created the Minnesota Historical Society in 1849. The Society is an independent, nonprofit corporation. An executive council, composed of 30 members elected for three-year terms, governs the Society. The Executive Council establishes major policies and monitors the quality of the Society's programs and services. The executive council appoints a director who serves as the chief administrative officer and directs the Society's professional staff in accordance with its policies. Ms. Nina Archabal has served as the director of the Minnesota Historical Society since 1987. An independent CPA firm audits the Society's annual financial statements.

Financial-Related Audit Reports address internal control weaknesses and noncompliance issues noted during our audits of state departments and agencies. The scope of our audit work at the Minnesota Historical Society included grants, capital projects, and state-owned historic sites' admission receipts. The Society's response is included in the report.

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