Volume 92, Issue 95

Friday, March 26, 1999


NEWS

Report says increase education funding

Rent refunds may be in the mail

Safety proposals pass the first step

USC audited statements check in four months late

Board sits on SOGS fee decrease

New fee for medical residents causing accessibility concerns

Iozzo sees term as educational triumph

Quickies

Caught on campus

USC audited statements check in four months late



By Dave Yasvinski
Gazette Staff

Four months after the due date, the audited financial statements of the University Students' Council are in.

USC standing policies stipulate the audit be published in The Gazette no later than Nov. 15, a deadline which could not be met.

While the audit was completed in December, there was a holdup in January with regards to incorporating leasehold improvements made to the University Community Centre three years ago, said Jim Walden, general manager of the USC.

According to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which outline standard accounting practices, these improvements could only be presented as interest and amortization and not reflected on a cash flow basis. The renovations cost $2.7 million and because it will take eight years to pay off this debt, which is owed to the university, through a student levy currently in place, the audited statements will reflect a paper loss but not an actual cash loss.

Walden said this is the only way the auditors could present this information in the audit. "This is how we sawed it off this year to get the damn thing done. We will work with them more this year to make it more accurate," he said, adding the presentation of the audit will include explanatory notes to make it easier to understand.

Karen Jackson, USC comptroller, said this is not an uncommon accounting convention but it does make the process more difficult. "We tried to isolate [the leasehold renovations] from the other operations but the auditors looked into it and their decision was they could not do it this way.

Jackson added the last part of the reason for the delay was due to USC management time being devoted to the budget which was approved last week. "You can run into these types of things – this took excessively long but there are only so many woman hours in a day."

John Musgreave, a partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers, the firm which worked on the USC audit, said the statements are signed and their opinion is given. "The audited financial statements are rendered. The statements speak for themselves – any interpretations or comments are the responsibility of [USC] management."

USC President Ian Armour said he regrets the delay which was also caused by the lack of financial reporting the USC was recieving in terms of keeping records up to date, coupled with a computer crash which occurred last summer.

"It's not something I'm proud of. We're not trying to hide anything," he said, adding once they realized the statements would be late the USC focused on making them as accurate as possible. "In the future we'll ensure the statements are out by the end of November."

Adriano Guzzo, a second-year social science student, questioned the accountability and reliability of the USC and added technical problems were a poor excuse for the late audit. "Something that important should not be forestalled," he said.






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Copyright The Gazette 1999