The Ottumwa Courier

January 14, 2014

School gets an 'A'

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Public organizations like colleges bring in government money that can only be spent in very specific ways. An occasional audit makes sure that’s what's happening.

Indian Hills Community College received a visit from the state in June and received results of the investigation this month.

"It turned out very good," said Bill Meck, chief financial officer of IHCC.

The Office of the Auditor of State states, "Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements."

In the past, a perfect audit report says the place has a report that is "unqualified." That there are no places where an investigating CPA had to say, "This is pretty good, however ..."

"They explained to us that the terminology changed a bit: They used to call them unqualified, and now they call it unmodified," Meck said.

That was the overall result.

"In our opinion, Indian Hills Community College complied … with requirements of its major federal programs. An unmodified opinion was issued on compliance with requirements applicable to each major program."

"A federal grant for example, has requirements and stipulations, and that is part of what they check for," Meck explained.

They also found that across the accounts they searched, the evidence was that each entry in the accounting ledger was accurate and appropriate. So that was also "unmodified."

Another section of the report was more basic: The school didn't spend more than they had budgeted for the year. So that last part of the audit was also considered unmodified, meaning the entire audit, using multiple CPAs and state auditors, was generally perfect.

"I just got here toward the end of the fiscal year, so I can't take much credit," Meck said. "Our staff did a great."

He walked into a college that had its financial house in order.

"Now my job," he said, "is to keep it neat."

— Reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark