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Audit reveals good KershawHealth financial policies

Posted: March 8, 2013 4:15 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2013 5:00 a.m.

In January, KershawHealth’s accounting firm, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, presented its annual audit report to the Board of Trustees. Dixon Hughes Goodman is one of the country’s most respected Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firms and the largest based in the South. The audit report was excellent, and the auditors commented specifically on KershawHealth’s outstanding accounting department. The CPAs found no areas which were substandard or issues to be addressed in connection with their audit. The report was gratifying because it reiterates that despite current challenges, KershawHealth continues to maintain the highest financial standards.

An audit of this sort is much more than simply ensuring the numbers on a financial statement add up properly. It is, rather, an in-depth review of policies and financial procedures to ensure that the numbers on that financial statement are materially correct. As the Alliance for Nonprofit Management notes, an audit is a process for “testing the accuracy and completeness of information presented in an organization’s financial statements.” The audit enables an independent certified public accountant to issue an opinion on whether an organization’s financial statements accurately reflect its financial position and whether it complies with generally accepted accounting principles. Simply put, is the organization adhering to current accounting standards and being transparent about its finances? The answer for KershawHealth was a resounding “yes.”

It is important to note that an audit is not designed to determine whether or not an organization should be profitable. In fact, Guidestar -- the organization that gathers and publicizes information about nonprofit organizations to advance transparency and encourage wise charitable giving -- makes it clear that “a nonprofit’s focus is to achieve a philosophical mission or a vision rather than to gain profit.” Naturally, KershawHealth strives to be profitable each year, as the funds remaining after all our expenses are taken care of are what allows KershawHealth to reinvest in our mission, and even to expand the ways in which our mission is carried out. It is ultimately mission, not profit that is our goal.

The accounting firm conducting an audit looks specifically at several areas. First, do the financial statements presented appear to be materially accurate? Do they reflect generally accepted accounting practices? Are there any areas which pose a risk and should be addressed?

In his audit report to the Board of Trustees, Mike Kelly, CPA, a partner with Dixon Hughes Goodman, specifically noted “KershawHealth has an outstanding finance department, and this is reflected in their long history of excellent audit reports. They have appropriate accounting policies in place and are always quick to address any changes which need to be made based on the most current accounting practices. Mike Bunch in his role as Chief Financial Officer and Angie Johnson (Vice President, Finance) and her team are to be commended for the job they do.”

Mike Bunch, KershawHealth’s CFO, noted that “we are very proud of this year’s financial audit. It builds on the excellent audits of prior years. While the actual financial results for Fiscal Year 2012 were not what we wanted, the audit results are only possible because of the expertise, integrity, and hard work of our accounting staff and other employees. The audit results also validate to the public that our financial statements are materially correct and based on generally accepted accounting principles.”


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