AG raises concerns over accounting deficiencies in Manitoba government

Manitoba’s auditor general is raising concerns about accounting deficiencies within the provincial government.

In the annual report on financial statement audits of 2021 to 2022 released Thursday, Auditor General Tyson Shtykalo found a number of deficiencies. They include poor compliance with controls over purchases and expenses, inadequate accounting processes, and other internal operating weaknesses.

The report includes concerns from officials over what’s causing these deficiencies. Some examples include job vacancies and turnover, and a lack of adequate accounting knowledge in departments.

Shtykalo said this is a problem because without proper accounting procedures it’s more likely there will be errors in financial reporting.

Many of the same issues were identified in prior years. Shtykalo says they’re on the rise.

“What we’ve been seeing is that the number of incidents and deficiencies that were noted have been increasing,” he said.

“So I do find this concerning that not only has action not been taken to address the deficiencies we found, but we’re in fact finding more deficiencies and more errors.”

Shtykalo adds that next year there will be new accounting standards that will need a lot of work to implement. He’s worried if the province doesn’t make improvements, it won’t be able to handle the extra work and it will lead to delays in finishing public accounts.

In a statement, the province says the auditor general’s report points out potential risk exposure of comptrollers and the comptrollership model – that’s basically who oversees financial reporting.

In relation to that, the province said they’re experiencing high vacancy rates right now.

The statement said the province is taking some immediate measures to address problems, including bringing in an external accounting firm to look over processes, and integrating in more modern accounting software.

In the meantime, the auditor general is launching a new audit specifically on the comptrollership model.

You can read the full report here: 

 

-with files from CTV’s Vanessa Broadbent

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