Albany State University Foundation receives clean 2018 audit
ALBANY – The Albany State University Foundation received a clean audit review for 2018. University officials credit the implementation of internal controls for results of this year’s audit.
Auditors reported that the Foundation has improved specifically in the areas of timely completion of the annual audit, reduction of significant deficiencies and a decrease in the number of adjustments of transaction recordings. According to auditors, the Foundation is in a strong financial position.
“Due to the introduction of new procedures, the overhaul of our financial system, and additional training of staff, the Foundation is in a strong financial and operational position,” said A.L. Fleming, vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive director of the ASU Foundation. Fleming became vice president in March 2018.
The audit is a regular review of the fundraising and non-profit unit of Albany State University. The Foundation’s finances and practices were audited by the accounting firm Mauldin & Jenkins, and the audit was approved by the ASU Foundation board of trustees in December 2018.
“This year’s clean audit report is an outcome of the significant improvements strategically implemented by the Division of Institutional Advancement. These changes were critical to ensure the full confidence of ASU donors in the practices and processes of the ASU Foundation,” said ASU President Marion Fedrick. “The results of the audit further highlight the professionalism and dedication of the staff and the ongoing efforts to ensure that these changes are a matter of business for the institution and not temporary changes. I’m pleased with the outcome as I’m sure all of our stakeholders will be.”
The ASU Foundation’s primary responsibility is to solicit and accept private financial and in-kind gifts in order to provide resources, services and funds in support of scholarships and student aid. The organization also maintains donor records, manages specific assets and disburses funds to support university programs. The Foundation has approximately $80 million in total assets, including two real estate ventures comprised of six East Campus residence halls and its student center.
The 2018 audit did not include any internal control weaknesses, which are procedures that are deemed more severe than recommendations. In 2017, auditors reported eight weaknesses and 15 recommendations. The 2018 report only noted three recommendations, which included more extensive reconciliation procedures and a formal budget approval process.
“It is a profound and factual statement to say that these are the most significant improvements that have been made in the financial reporting and accuracy of this Foundation over the years,” said Dale Bell, ASU Foundation board of trustee member. “We can now make our donations without any real concern about whether they are going to be used correctly or be appropriated correctly based on the staff we have in place and the checks and balances, and of course the independent auditors. The improvements that have been made have been echoed by the independent auditors.”
Mauldin & Jenkins did not recommend any error corrections, which means the errors reported in the 2017 audit have been corrected and have remained in compliance throughout the 2018 fiscal year and there were no new significant errors committed in 2018.
“The most important change that the Foundation made involved alignment of its gifts records systems, financial systems, and real estate holdings reporting,” Fleming said.
The next audit will occur in August 2019.