Auditor general once again slams school for poor financial management

For the third year in a row the Alberta College of Art and Design was flagged for failing to keep appropriate financial records or creating effective internal financial controls. On February 13 Alberta auditor general Merwan Saher released his report looking into internal financial controls at the province’s public post-secondary institutions.

Along with Northern Lakes College and Olds College ACAD has consistently failed to implement the auditor general’s recommended improvements for managing its finances.

“The boards of governors of Alberta College of Art and Design… must hold management accountable to implement recommendations that will establish and sustain a strong internal control environment” states the report. It points out other struggling post-secondary institutions have managed to maintain solid financial controls “in periods of economic and operational change” and so must ACAD.

The auditor asks ACAD to strengthen its control over expense claims improve its financial documentation and more closely monitor its expense reporting to its board of governors.

“Without adequate policies and controls… the college increases its risk that employees may spend inappropriately including expensing items of a personal nature… [and] the college may be exposed to economic or reputational risk if employees do not comply” the report says.

ACAD does publish board and senior management expense claims online. The institution has roughly 250 staff 1150 enrolled students and an annual budget of $22 million.