Qualified opinion issued on GFF 2016 accounts

-inadequate documentation presented

Amid reports that FIFA has halted funding to the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) following an audit probe of the 11-month normalization committee which served from October 2014, it has been disclosed that a qualified opinion was issued on the GFF’s 2016 accounts as it did not provide adequate documentation.

A qualified opinion by an auditor usually leaves major questions unanswered about the finances of the entity under study and this could be a further problem as FIFA has been trying to ensure clean accounting and good governance in local football.

Last month, GFF President Wayne Forde said that FIFA  had decided to halt funding to the GFF following an audit investigation. Forde, who was elected to office in 2015 said that an audit investigation had been conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) into the 11-month period the Clinton Urling-led Normalization Committee

Forde revealed that many red flags and anomalies were identified which forced FIFA following recommendations from PwC, to place Guyana under conditional funding.

He said that while the situation did not completely hinder the GFF’s attempt to develop the sport, it created a scenario which limited their access to developmental funding, in the process affecting the federation’s capability to support its Member Associations respective programmes.

Considering all the steps that have been taken to restore order to local football and its finances, the question of the qualified opinion on the GFF 2016 accounts will raise eyebrows.

According to a document seen by Stabroek News, auditors Ram and McRae issued a qualified opinion on the 2016 accounts after as the GFF “did not provide adequate documentation of transactions totalling $2,081,414 with suppliers and consequently we were unable to determine the accuracy and validity and completeness of the expenses”. Additionally, Ram and McRae said that transactions totalling $17,515,328 were indicated to be invalid entries due to incorrect postings by the accounts personnel and this necessitated confirmation procedures which led to variances totalling $8,026,557. The auditors said that they were therefore unable to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy and completeness of the accounts payable.

“The Federation did not provide adequate documentation of transactions, consequently we were unable to determine the completeness of the accounts receivable. Revenue was primarily derived from the deposits made to the Federation’s bank accounts and we were unable to assure ourselves that all revenue was deposited and recorded”, the auditors said. The qualified opinion is the likely reason why the GFF did not provide financial statements at the May 2017 congress. To date members have still not been provided with the 2016 accounts.

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