An audit on the Financial Statements of Graduate Students Association of Ghana (GRASAG-Legon) has exposed a case of cover up, understatement and massive financial malfeasance by the executives of the association.
The audit report concluded that there was ample evidence which indicated that the amount reported in the financial statement as dues from Weekend MBA (WMBA) programme was inaccurate.
The six-page report was compiled by Messers Solomon Kofi Yeboah, Emmanuel Tenakwah Jnr, and Evans Amoah Akomeah, who were appointed by the Senate of the Association to audit the activities of the Association for the 2014/2015 Academic Financial Year.
According to the report, intercepted by the paper and dated June 2015, although it was indicated in the financial statements that 150 Weekend MBA students paid dues to GRASAG-Legon, the number of WMBA students who paid their dues exceeded the reported figure.
“The implication of this is that, the total revenue as well as accumulated fund of the association is understated,” the report stated.
It cited instances where some of the transactions were not recorded in the cash book, noting that the situation could affect the financial statement.
“The association did not maintain proper cashbook. For a non-profit making entity, the cashbook serves as one of the key financial statements.
Misstatements or omissions in the cashbook could significantly affect the financial statement figures,” the report revealed.
It mentioned a case where the President of the Association confirmed in a meeting held on May 31, 2015 that the Office Assistant was authorised to issue receipts to WMBA students who came to the GRASAG-Legon office to pay dues, however the dues were not recorded in the cashbook.
It stated that there were payments vouchers which indicated expenditures for which no such records were made in the cashbook.
The report went on further to reveal that an amount of GHC7,500 which was requested and released for the renovation of the Legon Hall Annex CTV room was also misappropriated as the Association could not account for the use of the said amount.
The auditors also did not find documents or agreements for the purchase of fuel and servicing of some vehicles including vehicles with registration numbers GT 9346-14, GR 1079 V, GW 6842 W, GR 1049 W, and GN 1172 Z.
According to the auditors, an amount of GH¢760 which was claimed to have been spent on Leadership Training Programme was rather a fallacy as checks revealed that the said programme was organised by the Dean of Students and not the leadership of the Association.
The report pointed out that the rules and regulations of GRASAG stipulate that the student leadership of the Association were not required to make any payments to attend the said Leadership Training Programme.
Consequently the report showed that an amount GHC760 out of GHC1,200 which was given to the President of GRASAG to cater for travelling and transportation cost during the GRASAG national congress could not be accounted for properly whiles the amount reported as dues paid to GRASAG national congress might have been overstated.
Proceeds from the sale of tickets to Sajuna Beach Resort may not be accurate, the Auditors reported.
They indicated that about 131students participated in the programme; however the amount reported in the financial statements, suggested that only 51 of the participants paid for the trip.
It said whiles other campuses paid GHC5.00 per graduate student; GRASAG-Legon paid GHC5.86 on behalf of every member of the association.
The auditors divulged that not all GRASAG-Legon transactions were in the cashbook of the Association.
According to the report, the amount reported in the financial statements as unit cost of printing Polo T-Shirts for the Association differed from the quotation and said there were no documents indicating the variation in the cost by the producer.
The report uncovered omissions in the records.
It said an amount of GHC5,729 and GHC760 due (owing), to persons in respect of GRASAG-Legon 2015 elections and Atomic Campus Reading Room project respectively were omitted from the financial statements.
The report also divulged that an amount of GHC2,900 due to Agoba, in respect of video and photography had been omitted from the financial statements, saying “the implication of this is that the liabilities of the association are understated.”
According to the report, an amount GHC5,300 was recorded in the cashbook as expenditure for the main socialization, however, an amount of GHC9,458 was reported in the financial statements, explaining that there were no supporting documents for the difference.
When Today contacted the GRASAG-Legon President, Reginald Arthur, to speak to the issues raised in the audit report, he flatly denied the existence of any such report.
He said his office has not received the so-called audit report.
And he would neither confirm nor deny if the activities of the Association for the 2014/2015 financial academic year had been audited.
Mr. Arthur maintained that if such an exercise had been carried out his office would have been aware.
He stated further that his checks with the chairman of the Senate of GRASAG also indicated that the senate chair was not aware of the audit and the report thereof.
“I have enquired from the chairman of our senate to whom such report must be given but he has confirmed he hasn’t seen any such report,” he stressed.
When a copy of the report was sent to him through the WhatsApp social media platform to confirm or deny the report, he replied “this is not the report of GRASAG-Legon.”
He indicated that he was ready to talk to the issue but could not do so because there was no report to talk about.
But a former member of the Finance Committee of the Association, Anyass Ibrahim, expressed shock at the president’s denial, saying” it amounted to ingenuity.”
He insisted “that an audit report has been issued and copies issued out to all graduate students, all halls of residences and hostels and a copy submitted to the Dean of Student.”
Ibrahim disclosed that the president and his clique even attempted to get the auditors to change the report but the three-member audit committee stuck to its guns and refused to yield to any pressure.
He said he was not surprised that the chairman of the senate reportedly denied knowledge of the audit report since he (senate chair) and the president happen to be roommates and close associates.
Therefore “since Reggie never accepted the report he (senate chair) will also not accept it.
Mr. Ibrahim explained that even though the audit was mandatory and as such Reginald’s administration would have been audited at the end of their term in office however allegations of financial impropriety precipitated this audit.
Also confirming an executive member of GRASAG-Legon, Hajia Mardi, said there has been an audit.
She explained that the Senate appointed three members with solid backgrounds and track record in accounting to audit the books of the Association, adding that the audit report was duly submitted and copies circulated.
She however revealed that the president instead of appearing before the Senate to respond to the report hurriedly handed over to the incoming executives so that the report would be swept under the carpet.
She also expressed shock at the level of rot that the audit report uncovered and indicated that an action would be taken to ensure accountability.