Audit of Galway GAA includes 17 high-risk findings - blank cheques signed, no gate receipts schedule 7 months ago

Audit of Galway GAA includes 17 high-risk findings - blank cheques signed, no gate receipts schedule

The Mazars Audit of specific financial operations of Galway GAA has rated 17 of its findings as 'high risk'.

Incidents of blank cheques being signed, gate receipt activity and the ability for an electronic funds transfer to be made up to €18.5k without secondary approval have all been highlighted in the report, seen by SportsJOE.

In total, 39 risks were flagged:

  • 17 high risk
  • 18 medium risk
  • 4 low risk

The factual findings of the audit were reported to the GAA, discussed with GAA Central Council management with a formal management response and action plan agreed.

The key actions that have been recommended include:

  • GAA Central Council should ensure that there is defined appropriate oversight and approval over all financial operations.
  • A clear allocation of responsibility is required to ensure there is accountability for all financial activities  and periodic reviews of all key financial procedures and controls should be carried out and reported to Central Council management committee.
  • Ticketing controls need to be improved through system integration, timely reconciliations and appropriate sign-off.
  • Expenditure controls need to be improved by appropriate invoice/claim approval and implementation of payments controls.
  • Employment of a senior finance person with experience of accounting and ticketing systems and the application of accounting and control principles.

The report found that some sponsorship contracts are not signed by either GAA Central Council management or by the sponsor.

17 findings of high risk

1. Reconciliation of amounts received into office not reconciled daily

2. No formal reconciliation of payments received per ticketing system and payments received per accounting system

3. Inadequate documented policies and procedures in place regarding complimentary tickets

4. No schedule of gate receipts (for matches) maintained and monitored by accounts

5. Reconciliation sheets not provided for all gate receipts. Appropriate information not noted on reconciliation sheets in some instances

6. No clear allocation of responsibility between accounts and ticketing for resolution of variances noted on ticket reconciliation

7. Ambiguity as to whether payments made are for bonuses or reimbursement of expenses

8. Staff member able to prepare payroll file and make payroll payment without secondary approval

9. Absence of formal process of reconciliation, review and approval of credit card expenditure

10. EFT payments can be made up to €18.5k without secondary approval

11. Instances noted of signing of blank cheques

12. Two bank accounts noted which relate to activities within GCC county grounds are not recorded on accounting system

13. GAA county finance manual is not being followed by accounts. Policies and procedures in place are not documented adequately.

14. Documentation of roles and responsibilities is not at an optimal level. Senior management do not appear to proactively ensure that all required responsibilities are completed on a timely basis.

15. Inadequate documentation of approval process for supplier invoices.

16. Some expense claims and supplier invoices not evidenced as reviewed prior to payment.

17. In some instances: Appropriate expense claim form not used; Reimbursed costs in expense claims not supported by receipts.

The audit does not reflect financial statements taken as a whole, instead restricted to only matters specified in the agreed-upon-procedures.

Main sponsor Supermac's released a second statement on Tuesday evening, calling for details of any financial report to be made public.

"Supermac's acknowledges that a lot of honourable people contribute at all levels of the GAA and whilst there are the beginnings of a necessary change in culture, the path forward cannot be laid until the issues of the past are revealed.

"Supermac's seeks the transparency and accountability which are vital to confidence going forward. The first steps in this journey require that the two concluded reports into the finances of Galway GAA be published in full or otherwise further investigated by the relevant authorities. Supermac's is at a loss to understand why these reports have not been published.

"Supermac's has separate sponsorship arrangements with the Galway Camogie Board and the Galway Ladies Football Board. The figures released in Supermac's statement last week were not inclusive of these other sponsorships."