Auditors praise NPC’s financial reports

February 7, 2017 by Anonymous

Comprehensive reviews of Northland Pioneer College’s financial records and federal financial awards by officials with the Arizona Auditor General’s Office found “information in the District’s financial statements is fairly presented … and the statements can be relied on.”

Jay Zsorey, financial audit director with the Arizona Auditor General’s Office, formally presented the findings to the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board on January 17. Zsorey praised NPC for again being the first community college district in the state to complete their required audits. The audits were completed and filed on November 10, well ahead of the March 31, 2017 deadline.

Both audit reports were “unmodified,” with no findings related to financial statements or federal awards. No material weaknesses or significant weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting or major programs related to federal awards were noted. The last time the college had no audit findings was fiscal year 2009-10.

“The college acknowledges the contribution of the Office of the Auditor General,” noted Maderia Ellison, NPC’s interim vice president for Administrative Services. “They play an important role in the audit, providing timely and professional work. We appreciate the working relationship we have with all members of the Auditor General’s staff.” She also acknowledged the contributions of Amber Hill, controller, Lauren Sedillo, general ledger accountant, and other college departments and personnel for assistance with the audit.

The governing board voted to accept the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Single Audit and Governance Letter from the Auditor General’s Office. Financial documents are posted online.

District 3 representative Frank Lucero, who has served on the NPC board since January 2013, was selected as chairman for 2017. District 1 representative Daniel Peaches, who has served since 1985, will continue as the board secretary.

In other formal action, the board approved the list of possible personnel hearing officers for the coming year; approved changes to the Business – Medical Office Technologies degree and certificate program; approved deleting the Business – Medical Transcription degree and certificates; and authorized the research of options, with related cost projections, for conducting a presidential search. NPC President Dr. Jeanne Swarthout has announced her plans to retire in June 2018.

Ellison presented a review of the financial statement through the end of November. While property tax receipts were less in November than in previous years, the year-to-date totals are where they should be, at 54 percent of budgeted amounts. Board members have previously expressed concerns about the impact of reduced property valuations, foreclosures and subsequent reductions in property tax revenues.

Betsyann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family, presented an overview of scholarship distributions since the nonprofit organization refocused its mission in July 2014. From seven scholarships that first semester, Friends and Family will distribute 20 awards for the spring 2017 semester.

“Many scholarships go un-awarded because students were not applying. In chatting with students, I found they didn’t understand how to apply for, or write a compelling essay explaining their need for financial assistance to reach their educational goals,” explained Wilson. She now conducts free workshops on how to apply for scholarships and will review student’s essays, offering tips on how to make them stronger.

“This offer is not just for Friends and Family scholarships, I’ll help with any scholarship application,” stressed Wilson. If you would like assistance with a scholarship application or more information on how you can help support NPC Friends and Family, contact Wilson at (800) 266-7845, ext. 6245.

Friends and Family has several upcoming fundraising events planned, including Arizona Gives Day, April 4; Scramble Golf Tournament, April 29; Disc Golf Tournament, July 29; and Pedal the Petrified, Sept. 16. For details, visit

The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, February 21, beginning at 10 a.m., in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. Copies of the agenda are posted online at least 24 hours in advance.

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