For the 14th consecutive year, the Northern Marianas College received a favorable audit opinion on its financial statements, this time for fiscal year 2020. The independent audit was prepared by the accounting firm Burger Comer Magliari.
In an email to Saipan Tribune yesterday, NMC said there were no unresolved audit findings and questioned costs from previous audits of the college, and added that NMC continues to be designated as a “low risk” auditee by independent auditors.
NMC said the “low risk” designation “means less administrative burden for the institution in applying for and administering grants, fewer audit requirements, and higher confidence in the institution by federal agencies and the community.”
Additionally, Burger Comer Magliari found no material weaknesses and no questioned costs. According to an online definition, a material weakness is reported by an auditor when one or more of a company’s activities, rules, and processes designed to prevent inaccuracies in financial reporting and improve efficiency are ineffective.
Also according to an online definition, a “questioned cost” is reported by an auditor when an expenditure appears to violate a provision of a law, regulation, contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other agreement or document governing the expenditure of funds.
Burger Comer Magliari, however, reported findings related to the timely processing of employees’ contract renewal paperwork. NMC said yesterday that it has since “identified action items to address these findings and will continue to strengthen its procedures to avoid delays in processing the documents for these renewals.”
NMC’s email included comments on the audit from NMC president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero, who lauded the college’s Finance Office and other departments for “their diligence and strict adherence to internal controls and sound financial management.”
The email also said that, according to NMC chief financial officer David Attao, recommendations were made by the independent auditors to help improve NMC’s finance and procurement procedures. Regarding these recommendations, NMC said it is “committed to and has taken appropriate measures for continuous improvement.”
A copy of NMC’s financial audit has been transmitted to the Office of the Public Auditor and all other required entities.