Friday, September 13, 2013

Internal Control Problems at Arizona Historical Society

The Arizona Auditor General conducted a limited procedural review of “cash receipts, cash disbursements, purchasing, payroll, journal entries, transfers, capital assets, collection items, and compliance with Arizona Revised Statutes”. The report includes five findings:

1: The society should strengthen its controls over cash receipts.
2: The society should maintain an accurate capital assets listing.
3: The society should strengthen its controls over collection items.
4: The society should comply with Arizona Revised statutes.
5: The society should comply with state travel policies.

Finding number 3 is of considerable concern since the hostile takeover of the mineral museum transferred the 20,000 specimen state mineral collection to the AHS. The mineral museum had a complete, current, and accurate catalog of the specimens. Is that control being lost following the transfer to the AHS?

Furthermore, some specimens displayed at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show by the AHS had been renumbered. That is a concern, because the AHS took only the specimens, not the supporting data files. Those files were later salvaged by the state geologist. If the AHS renumbers only the mineral specimens, will the connection between mineral specimens and supporting data be lost?

Procedural Review, Arizona Historical Society, Office of the Auditor General, State of Arizona, Financial Audit Division, February 28, 2013

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