(Fwd) Re: Auditing a Universities Finances

Georges Monette (gmonette@YorkU.CA)
Wed, 3 Dec 1997 14:46:58 -0500

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Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997 14:16:35 -0800
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Sender: York University Faculty Association List <YUFA-L@YORKU.CA>
From: Michael Wharton <michael@CS.YORKU.CA>
Subject: Re: Auditing a Universities Finances

Walter -

Thank you for posting the messages about forensic accounting.
As I understand it, the use of the term "forensic" does _not_
necessarily imply that there is a suspicion of illegal activity.
Forensic accounting is appropriate to look for fraud, but it is also
useful to analyze the state of the university's financial controls
and reporting systems.

It is for this latter purpose that I would like to see a
forensic accountant study York's finances. I have never seen any reason
to suspect any illegal activity on the part of any York administrator.
On the other hand, I have seen what _appears_ to be a poor system of
financial controls and what _appears_ to be poor financial reporting.

I believe that it would be in the best interest of _everyone_
at York for an impartial, outside forensic accountant to study York's
finances. If there are no problems, then it would be important for us
to know that. On the other hand, if there are substantial problems,
then we should also know _that_, so that the problems could be corrected.

There are two problems with making this happen. First, it is
expensive, beyond YUFA's budget. Second, we do not (yet) have full
access to the financial information.

The YUFA Financial Information Subcommittee (FISC) has requested
full access to York's financial information. Of course, we are willing
to respect any reasonable requirements of confidentiality. Our goals are
first, to understand the finances, and second, to explain them to the
YUFA membership. Our approach is _not_ adversarial, but is designed to
forestall the conflicting interpretations of York's finances that we have
seen in the past.

Michael Wharton

Walter Whiteley wrote:
> In view of our own experiences, I thought people would
> be interested in a recent set of meesages on the
> CAUT-gen list.
> Walter Whiteley
> Forwarded message:
> Originator: cautbarg-l@cunews.carleton.ca
> Sender: cautbarg-l@cunews.carleton.ca
> From: Vivienne Scott-Smietana <smietana@acs.ryerson.ca>
> To: Multiple recipients of list <cautbarg-l@cunews.carleton.ca>
> Subject: RE: Information Request
> We would like to know if any other Faculty Association has used a
> forensic accountant to go over its University's books and, if so, how was
> it initiated; what was the reaction from the University; was it
> successful; what company did they use and what was the cost?
> Your input would be very much appreciated.
> Vivienne Scott-Smietana
> Ryerson Faculty Association

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