Volume 92, Issue 49

Tuesday, December 1, 1998



USC auditors stalled

By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

The summary of the audited financial statements for the University Students' Council will be late this year due to unforeseeable circumstances.

The USC has broken one of its standing policies which requires them to publish these statements in The Gazette annually, before Nov 15.

"The audit will be completed by the end of the year in all probability," said Jim Walden, general manager for the USC. "There were extenuating circumstances that require it be delayed."

Walden explained the audit process began over the summer, but had to be delayed several months because of problems with USC records, plus the fact they changed comptrollers. "We discovered irregularities in the reporting. We've had to go back and correct those irregularities. The audit is being recommenced [today]," he said.

"When the auditors first came the books weren't in the order they could have been," said Ian Armour, president of the USC. "We take responsibility for it. Internally, we were not as prepared as we could have been."

Armour said a big part of the problem was a computer crash which occurred over the summer and affected a lot of their systems.

Dave Small, VP-finance for the USC, said the computer crash really slowed things down because accounting totals for the month of May were lost. "It's a pain in the ass. We're not purposely trying to delay this. It should have been done over the summer."

Kim Rebry, interim comptroller and manager for Price Waterhouse, the firm auditing the USC, said two months of information were actually lost and had to be reentered manually. "Things have been going slow but steady but I feel by the time the audit is done it will be very reliable and worth waiting for."

The system that crashed usually has a backup system in place but the crash occurred while they were trying to increase its memory, Rebry explained. "In trying to prepare for a computer crash we caused it."

Mark MacLellan, assistant coordinator for entertainment productions, said the computer crash caused problems for Western Film, but nothing major. "I didn't have any kind of financial reports for a while but I keep pretty good records myself. I had a good idea of where we were at."

MacLellan said there also had to be delays in paying suppliers and distributors, but they were all pretty understanding. "It didn't have a big impact on us."

While the summarized statements should be completed soon, they will not be published in The Gazette until the beginning of next year, Walden added. "If anybody can get it done any sooner, let them be our guest."

Russell Laing, second-year political science student, said it is important the USC is held accountable for these funds. "If it was innocent human error, shit happens – just don't let it happen again."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998