$ 1 Million Error in University Budget Goes Unnoticed

By Kim-Jenna Jurriaans

In its fall report presented to the Board of Trustees this month, University accountants made a $1 million error in the University cash flow projection for the academic year 2007-08. A closer look at the budget shown in the report, available on TheAntiochpapers.org, shows that in the conversion from accrual to cash basis, the University mixed up plus and minus and accounted a University wide deficit of $ 3.430,146. In reality, the University had a projected $ 2,457,508 cash shortage for this year.
When asked to comment on Wednesday, Director of Finance and Budget for the University, Virginia Dowse, talked of  “an adding error” that did not have an impact on decisions. “The Board evaluates finances on a campus level, not on a University level.”

In answer to the question why none of the trustees, who usually receive the written report a week before every board meeting, did not pick up on the mistake, she explained that the page was not discussed at the last meeting. “If anyone would have looked at it,” she assured, “it would have been caught by somebody else.”

Dowse underlined that the matter was a “mistake” and that the projection was used for internal purposes only.