AP audit reveals Virginia school’s accounting shortcomings

A recent accounts payable audit conducted by the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts uncovered a variety of weaknesses in the Staunton-based Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind's accounting methods, according to the News Leader.

With regard to a construction project being overseen by the school, invoices were found to have been paid without supervisor approval, introducing the potential for inaccurate or duplicate payments. Additionally, its fixed asset accounting records could not be reconciled with sums reported to the state, and Government Accounting Standards Board rules related to recording fixed assets' remaining useful life were found not to have been followed.

Difficulties involving the outsourcing of the school's payroll have also led to complications.

Superintendent Nancy Armstrong noted that staff have since corrected erroneous spreadsheet information in an effort to mitigate inaccuracies related to invoice payment and fixed asset management, the news source reports.

Organizations looking to identify problems in their accounting methods before an external body does it for them are recommended to engage in regular self AP audits. These can also highlight instances of fund misappropriation. 

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