River Parishes Community College has hired a bursar and beefed up its business office after a state audit released this month reported — for the third time in recent years — that some students is still not up to scratch.
The errors caused no financial harm to the students, Acting Chancellor Quintin Taylor said. But they have clouded the picture the college has of its finances, acting chancellor Quintin Taylor said Thursday.
“The students themselves weren’t affected by the mistakes made by our business office,” said Taylor, who joined the community college in June.
River Parishes Community College has a main campus in Gonzales and satellite campuses in the parishes of West Baton Rouge, Iberville, St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist.
Total enrollment for all RPCC campuses is currently approximately 3,200 students, including traditional community college students and dual-enrollment students earning their high school and college credits at the same time.
The accounting errors were found on the tuition accounts of dual-enrolled students, who are taking RPCC classes while still in high school.
School districts pay a portion of tuition for their dual-enrollment students; tuition is approximately $170 per credit hour. The rest of the tuition is paid for by the community college and it’s this latter source of funding that isn’t duly noted on student accounts — even though it’s passed — Taylor said.
According to the audit released Sept. 6 by the Office of the State Legislative Auditor.
“Internally, we didn’t do it in a timely manner,” Taylor said. “The account will show a balance, but the student does not owe any money.”
“Once that’s been identified, we go in and retroactively apply those overrides to those accounts,” he said.
State audits of the RPCC in 2019 and 2020 also indicated that the community college “did not have adequate controls over student account balances, which increases the risk that account receivable balances are overstated,” it said. the most recent audit.
Other findings from this year’s audit released on September 7:
- RPCC has not written off student-related account balances as required by Louisiana Community and Technical College System and RPCC policies. Account balances totaling more than $1.3 million that were between 2 1/2 and 8 years old were not written off as of June 21, 2022 – policies require that write-offs of delinquent accounts be made at the end of the second year at most.
- Another finding for the third time was inefficient bank reconciliations. Bank reconciliations for the months of July 2020 through October 2021 were not balanced, with differences between bank balances and the general ledger ranging from approximately $548,000 to minus $2 million. As of July 20, 2022, bank reconciliations have not been completed for the months of November 2021 to June 2022.
“The results are important to talk about,” Taylor said. “We need to know where our finances are.”
“It is very important that the college has strong and stable leadership in the business office,” he said, adding that he had made personnel changes in the business office and hired a new bursar and a new financial director.
Prior to Taylor’s appointment as acting chancellor this summer by the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the acting chancellorship was held for two years by Northshore Technical Community College trustee Jim Carlson after the departure to the retirement of Chancellor Dale Doty in 2020.
The state’s community and technical college system plans to appoint a permanent chancellor for River Parishes Community College in December.
“We are working to respond to the findings of the audit, so that we have the confidence of the people of Louisiana,” Taylor said.