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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Crowder College gets 'fair' rating

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  • Crowder College received a "fair" rating in a routine state audit, made public by state auditor Tom Schweich's office on Wednesday.
    According to the state auditor's report, there were several issues with controls and procedures found at the college.
    For the areas audited, the state auditor's team identified deficiencies in internal control, noncompliance with legal provisions, the need for improvement in management practices and procedures and weaknesses with the procedures of the college's foundation.
    Areas in need of improvement that were listed in the audit report included the bookstore, the cashier's office, satellite campus receipting and depositing, the alliance for business, procurement policies and expenditures, salary procedures, vehicle usage and fuel logs, information security, closed meeting records, and foundation subsidization.
    The audit reviewed fiscal year 2011 and 2012.
    "The college is pleased that during the state auditor's review, your office found there to be no questions of impropriety or misappropriation of funds," Crowder officials wrote in the college's formal response, included in the audit. "The board of trustees greatly appreciates the auditor's recommendations and is confident that they will assist us in improving internal controls."
    The audit ratings scale includes four ratings: excellent, good, fair and poor.
    A fair rating is described as indicating that the entity "needs to improve operations in several areas."
    The auditor noted a lack of adequate controls at the Crowder bookstore, which includes lack of adequately documenting inventories, lack of adequate segregation of duties, and insufficient software to maintain an adequate audit trail.
    In their response, Crowder officials said they had sought technical support to assist with the software issue.
    "Some changes have already occurred, such as creating a new code to properly denote book buybacks from book refunds in the students' accounts," the college noted.
    They also noted that a new procedure has already been implemented to address the documentation of inventory.
    The auditor's report also identified the need for improvement of control over receipts and deposits in the cashier's office, as well as improvement in segregation of duties within the office.
    Auditors also noted that while the college owns 68 vehicles, trailers and ATVs, documentation of trip purpose and mileage were not kept. The lack of documentation was also identified with the college's fuel cards.
    However, Crowder College's response noted that the college has since implemented mileage tracking.
    The state audit also found a weakness in the college's information security, stating that Crowder has no formal disaster recovery plan to restore computer operations in the event of a disaster.
    The college's response stated that a plan is in place, though the college will work to improve it.
    In most of the auditors' findings, Crowder officials responded that some changes have already been made or that changes are in the works to correct the issues found.
    Page 2 of 2 - "Crowder College will begin immediately to implement your recommendations," college officials wrote.

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