UFH achieves a near clean audit, operates within its allocated budgets
The University of Fort Hare (UFH) today announced that it has tabled a near clean audit opinion for the past financial year, a signal that the University’s finances are in a healthy position and governance is being restored.
This was according to Mr. Charles Matumba, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the University of Fort Hare.
He said the external independent audit was completed by Chartered Accounting and Auditing Firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and encompassed reporting for the financial year ending 31 December 2020. UFH submitted its annual report and audited consolidated financial statements to DHET on 30 June 2021, exactly on the deadline as required by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
“We are pleased to announce that the University of Fort Hare recorded improved financial results in its latest financial year-end. These results will add to the reserves and assist in funding for a wide variety of activities, systems, processes in the short to medium term to enable the sustainable shift to online/hybrid teaching, learning and research and other administrative functions. In particular, the University will need to adequately fund the new University strategic plan from 2022, which envisages a major move to a digitised University”, Mr. Matumba said.
“This is a marked improvement especially when the University’s financial performance over recent years are considered,” he said.
“Based on the findings of the financial audit, we believe adequate financial governance controls are being restored and stronger fiduciary mechanisms are being exercised at UFH,” he said.
The University received a qualification on a single aspect of its financial year-end audit report. The other items which led to qualifications in historical years have been cleared, indicating management’s commitment to improving the financial controls and reporting environment. In fact, the pending issue related to a historic matter that the University’s management team and newly appointed Council inherited. UFH is liaising with both internal and external stakeholders to clear this historic item with a target to receive a fully clean audit opinion.
“With the exception of this historical item, the University of Fort Hare in principle received an unqualified and clean audit outcome,” said Mr. Matumba.
Mr. Matumba said as part of the University’s “Decade of Renewal” master plan, strategies to preserve and strengthen UFH’s financial health will include:
Ensure long term financial sustainability of the University and its entities;
Generate of other sources of income through diversification initiatives to reduce reliance on state funding; and
Ensure development and application of sound financial governance and compliance practices supported by the necessary technologies for the benefit of our stakeholders.
Professor Sakhela Buhlungu, UFH Vice-chancellor (VC) thanked the Office of the CFO for their tremendous hard work. “I would like to thank the Finance Team, our subsidiaries/entities, our group auditors PwC, the Management Executive, staff and our Governance Committees for their support in enabling us to meet the deadlines and achieving these excellent audit results under very turbulent conditions”, the VC said.
The Vice-chancellor dismissed a recent media report that attempted to frame the University as an institution with unstable and deteriorating financial health.
“The latest financials indicate that ongoing restoration and renewal through the appointment of the new Council in December last year and the ongoing efforts by the management team indicates the University is on a determined and strong path of stability and improved financial health and governance,” the VC said.
- Ends -