Earlier this month, the Washington State University Board of Regents accepted the University’s financial report for the 2017 fiscal year. The 2017 financial report provides detailed information about WSU’s fiscal health and operations from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.
During FY 2017, cash and investments declined as expenses exceeded revenue. This has been the trend over the last three fiscal years. This decline, in conjunction with the effect of a change in accounting methods associated with long-term benefit plans, has caused a significant reduction in unrestricted net assets.
“The current rate of spending is not sustainable and further emphasizes the importance of the ongoing effort to bring University spending in line with revenues.” said Matthew Skinner, associate vice president, finance.
In addition to providing a clean, unqualified opinion on the financial statements, the independent auditor also conducted a review of WSU’s internal controls. For FY 2017, the auditors found a deficiency over financial reporting associated with the interpretation and application of new Governmental Accounting Standard Board pronouncements. To address this finding, WSU sought an independent financial statement review that will ensure the related statements and footnotes are prepared in accordance with all GASB standards and GAAP reporting principles. The University is also seeking training and technical resources so that all future changes to accounting guidance are researched and applied in a timely manner.
The Fiscal Health Advisory Committee will conduct its first meeting on April 4. This committee is charged with examining current budgetary practices and providing a system-wide perspective for guiding fiscal health decisions going forward. For more information on WSU’s ongoing effort to improve its fiscal health, visit https://wsu.edu/fiscal-health/.