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This report compiles the status of recommendations from our 2021 financial statement audits of post-secondary institutions. It also includes a report card on each institution’s financial reporting processes and internal controls with comparative assessments from our 2020 and 2019 audits.

Preparation of Financial Statements

We issued unqualified audit opinions on the 2021 financial statements of 20 post-secondary institutions.

There were no changes in our assessment of the timing and accuracy of each institution’s preparation of financial statements from 2020. Olds College required a number of adjustments to its draft financial reporting again this year, although some process improvement was made. Alberta University of the Arts and NorQuest College demonstrated some improvements in their financial reporting processes from what we observed in 2020, but more improvement is required. Management and the board of governors of all institutions continue to work to sustain strong financial reporting processes and internal controls across the sector.

Outstanding Recommendations

Eight institutions have 11 outstanding recommendations. None of the outstanding recommendations were originally reported earlier than 2019. Six institutions were issued a recommendation in 2019 related to improving testing and monitoring of the effectiveness of internal controls. The pandemic has created delays in these institutions’ implementation efforts. We look forward to each institution completing its related implementation plan for this recommendation in 2022.

New Recommendation

We issued a new recommendation to Lakeland College to promptly remove terminated employees’ access to the college’s network and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Without effective user access controls, the college is at risk of unauthorized access to its confidential data, which could lead to data corruption, inappropriate modification
or disclosure.

Implemented Recommendation

Keyano College implemented our 2013 recommendation to improve systems to ensure compliance with legislation. This is the last institution to implement this recommendation, which was previously made to all post-secondary institutions.