This report summarises the results of the annual audits of the 4 public universities, their subsidiaries and the 5 TAFEs for the 31 December 2018 reporting year. The report also contains the results of a small number of other annual audits of statutory authorities, local government entities and cemetery boards.
We issued clear (unqualified) opinions for all the universities and TAFEs on their financial statements, controls and key performance indicators.
In 2018 for the first time, TAFEs used a new streamlined financial reporting format specified by the Department of Treasury. My office has advocated simplified reporting requirements for small to medium sized entities for several years, and I commend the TAFEs, Department of Training and Workforce Development and Department of Treasury for successfully implementing this reporting reform.
Our audit findings indicate that entities have generally improved financial and management control procedures in recent years, but information system and risk management controls are generally not improving. I recommend that executive management in each entity gives priority to monitoring information system security, continuity and functionality.
In 2018, universities applied Australian Accounting Standard AASB 9 Financial Instruments for the first time, resulting in several adjustments, mainly reclassification of certain investments. The adjustments are detailed in this report.
One university and one TAFE achieved our best practice status for good financial controls and reporting practices.
I wish to thank my staff and the staff in the audited entities who contributed to the audit process and outcomes.