Alberta’s Auditor General, Doug Wylie, gave a “clean” bill of health via an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements of the province’s colleges and universities, including those in Calgary.
An unqualified audit position represents an opinion that financial statements have been fairly and appropriately presented, but does not judge the financial position of an organization.
Bow Valley College was Calgary’s only institution to receive a new recommendation in the report.
The AG has recommended the college improve processes to ensure consistent financial statements are produced, with the key finding that staffing changes at Bow Valley—including the departure of finance personal, the college’s controller, and CFO—led to differentiation from accounting standards.
“Neither position had been replaced at the time of the draft financial statement preparation,” wrote the report.”
“As a result, the year-end financial statements preparation and review processes were not applied as designed and certain review controls were ineffective in preventing accounting and presentation differences from occurring.
Bow Valley College was given green marks however for their 2022 scorecard for accuracy, timeliness, and outstanding recommendations by the AG.
A total of 10 outstanding recommendations for Alberta institutions
Calgary’s Alberta University of the Arts (AUA) saw both improvements in 2022, along with continued recommendations going back to 2019.
AUA was given a green check for accuracy and timeliness of it’s financial statements. Previously the institution had been noted as having improvements required to made in 2020 and 2021 to the accuracy of those statements.
The university was recommended to implement testing and monitoring of internal financial controls in Dec. 2019.
Other institutions across the province with new and prior recommendations include Lakeland College, Medicine Hat College, Northwestern Polytechnic, and Olds College.
Only Olds College was given a report card rating of significant improvement is required for 2022.
“Strong financial reporting processes and internal controls result in timely information that users of the financial statements can rely on,” said Auditor General Doug Wylie.
“Boards and management need accurate and timely financial information throughout the year, not just at year-end.”
The number of outstanding recommendations made by the AG decreased by one, from 11 to 10 in 2022.
The full report can be read on the Office of the Auditor General’s website at www.oag.ab.ca/reports/oag-report-on-psis-2022-mar-2023.