LINCOLN, Neb. — A state audit found numerous irregularities and poor accounting at Nebraska’s three state colleges.

The audit reviewed records for 2016-17 at Wayne, Peru and Chadron State colleges, the Omaha World Herald reported .

Many of the discrepancies involved the incorrect classification of items, said Stan Carpenter, chancellor of the Nebraska State College System. The report noted that reclassifying items moved balances across different lines and didn’t change net assets.

“Obviously, every audit has some issues,” Carpenter said. “There’s always a lot of back and forth,”

The numerous errors found in the report were eventually corrected, said Kris Kucera, the audit’s manager.

One case involved an assistant athletic director at Wayne State College who altered a report by $200. Ryan Hix was in control of all cash transactions that came through the athletic department.

According to the audit, Hix wrote in an email to a Wayne State colleague that the discrepancy involved a ticket issue and no money was taken from the college. Hix left Wayne State in September and is now an insurance agent.

The Hix case was referred to the Wayne County Attorney, the Nebraska State Patrol and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, Kucera said. Hix said he hasn’t yet been contacted by law enforcement.

The state Auditor’s Office found the college system needs more knowledgeable staff members to handle financial statements to meet governmental accounting standards. One person was generally in charge of overseeing the statements without review procedures to ensure accuracy and consistency, the report said.

Carpenter said he’s working to restructure the colleges’ accounting processes to improve procedures without adding on full-time employees.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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