An audit is conducted in many cases when there is a question as to the reported money that is going in and out of an organization. In some cases, these audits can reveal troubling information that can lead California officials to believe that the organization has been committing unauthorized acts with regards to their receipt of money. A recent audit of Santa Clara Unified School District has raised such concerns as allegations have arisen that employees were performing unauthorized tasks when they were supposed to be performing school district duties.
The audit revealed that five employees were conducting accounting work for outside companies while on the clock for the school district. Allegations have been made that these acts may have been fraudulent, as it was initially reported that the employees personally received payments for their accounting services. However, when questions surfaced, payments were then said to have been issued by the school district itself.
Meanwhile, school officials have stated that the work they conducted did not affect their normal work duties. They stated that there was no effort by them to conceal the payments and that the pay they did receive was taxed. It is unclear at this time what further action, if any, will be taken by County officials.
Audits can turn up all sorts of information that can lead to potentially negative consequences. However, these audits are not conclusive evidence that any wrongdoing has been committed and, if explained properly, these audits may simply inform the public of the work that is being performed. Regardless of the circumstances, understanding an individual’s rights when such an audit is being performed may greatly assist California residents in ensuring that the proper information is being disclosed, which can make the process less burdensome on all the parties that are involved. Any time an audit takes place, tax issues are invariably involved, and those facing this type of financial scrutiny would do well to seek professional advice to ensure the audit correctly reflects business practices as well as to pinpoint and correct any deficiencies found.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Audit of Santa Clara Unified questions payments to administrators,” Sharon Noguchi, Oct. 9, 2012