Hood Memorial Hospital in Amite continued to struggle in 2014 with organizing its finance staff to properly segregate duties and handle its financial statements internally, rather than relying on external auditors, according to a report the Legislative Auditor’s Office released Monday.
But the public hospital, which was founded in 1964 as Tangipahoa Parish Hospital Service District No. 2, took several steps in recent months to right the ship, including hiring a chief financial officer and implementing new procedures.
Auditors with Langlinais, Broussard and Kohlenberg, of Abbeville, found for the second year that the hospital had failed to adequately divvy up its financial duties to guard against errors and fraud in several areas, including payroll transactions. The hospital also was cited for having to make multiple adjustments to its ledger after the fiscal year ended and not properly documenting changes made during the year.
Hospital management, in its written response to the audit report, said the district had “increased staff and moved personnel around” to better divide the work. To further strengthen internal controls, the district in August hired a chief financial officer who will prepare the district’s financial statements, instead of relying on outside auditors.
The hospital also implemented new procedures in February to document and verify adjustments to its ledger and recently sought quotes for an off-site facility to store the backup tape for its accounting software, resolving another of the auditors’ findings.
Four of the hospital’s six audit findings were carryovers from the prior year, with two others from 2013 being resolved.
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