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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

CSA “Fact-finding operation” starts great audit of 2015

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This fall, the CSA has undertaken the task of auditing a large number of Carleton clubs and organizations. The audit comes in response to a recent increase in the number of clubs running a budget deficit and, ideally, will help to stop the trend and reduce uneven account balances.

The audit has been primarily a fact-finding operation with the goal of reducing future unanticipated net deficits that must be covered from the CSA general account and providing better allocation of funds in the future.

Not all clubs and organizations will be subjected to auditing, according to CSA Treasurer Ben Strauss, ‘16. The CSA has chosen those with more than $500 of surplus or deficit, about one fifth of campus clubs, to go through the process. The important thing to remember here, said Strauss, is that there will be no fines or penalties associated with the audit. The goal is for for club financial needs to be met more effectively, not to “punish them for past debts,” he said.

At the beginning of fall term, organizations that fit the surplus and deficit requirements were identified and a budget committee member was assigned to each. This committee member will discuss the financial situation of the club with its leaders. The goal is to determine what went wrong in the past as well as what could be improved in the future.

If the deficit was not already covered, the budget committee can approve retroactive funding. In some cases, the committee member may recommend that an organization come before the larger budget committee. This would only occur if the committee feels the need to ask additional questions, which Strauss doubts will be necessary. In general, and despite its name, the Great Audit of 2015 should create little disruption to even the most financially careless of clubs.

When the auditing process is completed and information has been collected from all organizations, the budget committee will present their overall findings to the senate. The information gathered this fall will then be put to use during spring allocations. The budget committee will have more information with which to decide how much money to give each club and whether it should be more or less than in the year before.

Strauss emphasized that auditing is not a punishment and that the CSA will not be penalizing anyone. Furthermore, they do not expect to create inconvenience for any campus clubs. The audit is simply a tool to gain a “better grasp of the budget big picture and to enable the CSA to see broad trends and better spend student money,” says Strauss.

Attempts to contact clubs currently being audited were unsuccessful.

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