The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Geer, signing off
Geer, signing off
by Caleb Geer, Ad Manager/Web Editor • April 27, 2024

I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life when I showed up on campus in the middle of the pandemic almost four years ago. I knew...

Looking back at my time at Simpson
Looking back at my time at Simpson
by Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager • April 27, 2024

It all started with soup. No, really, let me explain. I was so passionate about the soup in SubConnection as a first year that it caught the...

So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
So long, farewell, I’ve got no more stories to tell
by Jenna Prather, Editor-in-chief • April 27, 2024

Unlike my fellow student media seniors who’ve written this before me, I came into Simpson knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I did independent...

Auditing changes lead to missing funds and mass confusion

Kyle Werner

Several faculty advisors realized last week that their organization’s accounts did not have the funds that they expected. This left some organizations with negative balances and others missing funds collected from student dues or fundraising.

According to an email from the Director of Student Activities, Steven Strope, sent out on Saturday, April 13, who is responsible for managing finances and accounting, is working on the issue.

Faculty advisors interviewed by the Simpsonian were confident the charges would be covered and the funds collected from dues or donations would be returned, but they were unaware of how or when.

According to Strope, the accounts were closed by the auditors responsible for the fiscal year 2023 audit. They took this action unilaterally on March 13. This was not what he or the controller’s office intended.

“On November 6, we met with the controller,” he said. “There were a number of dormant student organizations.” 

They decided to close those accounts, notifying faculty advisors in December that all organizations would need to register in the Spring or their associated accounts would be closed.

In March, there was another meeting with the auditors and the controller’s office, where it was decided that suspense accounts should be closed as well.

According to an email from Roger Degerman, VP of marketing and strategic communication, on behalf of the VP for finance and business, the problem arose from how the accounts were being used.

“The auditor deemed the use of suspense accounts in most instances to be incorrect and therefore disallowed transactions recorded as such,” Degerman said. “The use of suspense accounts is generally reserved for transactions temporary in nature, not for the recording of transactions deemed routine.”

The misuse of suspense accounts meant that funds were not appearing properly for accounting purposes, or sometimes not appearing at all.

On March 18, student organization presidents were made aware that suspense accounts would be closed. However, faculty advisors were not.

These problems had been noted by auditors previously, but action hadn’t been taken yet. According to Strope, the auditors decided to close the accounts being used incorrectly themselves. The problem arose from the fact that all student organizations used suspense accounts, including those that collected funds from dues or private donations.

Adding to the confusion is that there is no comprehensive list of all student organizations, partly because many of them have been inactive for years. The organizations affected range from Simpson Beekeeping Club—which never got off the ground—to the Epsilon Sigma Honor Society.

This mistake was initially brought to light at a Faculty Liaison Committee (FLC) meeting on April 6. After being alerted to the problem, student activities met with the controller’s office a third time on April 9 to discuss concerns from faculty advisors that their accounts appeared to be missing funds.

At the FLC meeting, one faculty advisor mentioned that their student organization didn’t have the funds they had expected. Several other attendees checked and found their accounts missing funds as well.

Adam Brustkern, the faculty advisor for several student organizations, including Students for Life, Chemistry Club and SC Veterans Club, said that a combined amount of around $10,000 is not in the three accounts as he expected.

“As long as we’re keeping track of the money allocated to us and we don’t overspend it, what we see on our SCConnect budget will eventually catch up,” Brustkern said. He was first made aware of problems at the aforementioned FLC meeting.

When he checked the account balances for each club, he found negative balances due to purchases made with the assumption that funds were in the account.

Ryan Rehmeier, the faculty advisor for the Sustainability Club, said the club had $4,400 at the start of the year. However, the account now has a negative balance.

“We try to use the money very efficiently,” he said. “I’m fine with the money going back to SGA, but I don’t want to have a deficit.”

Rehmeier was also confused as to why the funds were removed when they were.

“I received previous information that all funds in the accounts needed to be spent by the end of the fiscal year,” he said. “We’re not to the end of the fiscal year yet, though.”

Rehmeier and Brustkern were both confident that the charges would be covered eventually, but at the time of interviewing, they were unsure of how or when that would happen. Outside of the email from Steven Strope, they had not received information about this subject.

Degerman encouraged any student organizations affected by the issue to reach out to the controller at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ryan Magalhães
Ryan Magalhães, Feature Editor
Kyle Werner
Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager

Comments (0)

All The Simpsonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest