Audit: NMC’s finances in good order

The Northern Marianas College recently obtained an “unqualified opinion” on its financial statements for the last fiscal year, the fourth consecutive year that a similar opinion was given the institution.

An unqualified opinion means that the financial statements present fairly, in all material aspects, the financial position of the college as of Sept. 30, 2011. It also means that the institution’s financial statements conform with the accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

In his report to the NMC Board of Regents, dean of administration David Attao disclosed that NMC’s independently prepared audit identified no material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, or material noncompliance with the college financial statements.

Despite several findings in the new audit report, Attao said the questioned costs were less than $25,000, which he described as a success rate for the institution.

“When dealing with tens of million of dollars, we have a high success rate of successful compliance. Of the questioned costs, six are based on interpretation of federal requirements versus local requirements. The rest have been acted on and or in the process of being completed,” he told Saipan Tribune.

The audit report, identified a total of 13 findings dealing with the institution’s handling of federal awards and programs.

Of these findings, two were found with questionable costs amounting to $4,131 and $18,309 respectively.

NMC president Sharon Hart vowed yesterday to respond and address the findings in the audit report.

“What this comes down to again, as in the past few years, is that the college is continuously improving its management of its finances and its internal control measures. We will continue to ensure that NMC responds to the identified audit findings in a comprehensive and timely manner,” she said.

Hart revealed that the independent auditing firm, Deloitte and Touche, also indicated that NMC is one of the most financially compliant and stable entities in the CNMI and in the region.

“I am proud of our finance team who continues to work hard to improve our financial management, internal controls, and compliance,” added Hart.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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