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Keiron Edwards, president of the Eastern Football Association, give his remarks during the Media Launch of the Secondary School Football League at the Ato Boldon Stadium on September 7, 2022 in Couva. (Photo by Daniel Prentice)

Keiron Edwards, president of the Eastern Football Association (EFA) is advising the local football membership not to put their stamp of approval on the T&T Football Association’s Audited Financial Statement when it comes up for approval at tomorrow’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Home of Football (HoF) from 8.30 am.

Edwards, in a letter, addressed to the head of the Normalisation Committee Robert Hadad on Saturday (September 17), titled Re: Concerns regarding the Audited Financial Statement for the years ended 31st December 2020 and 31st December 2021’, outlined five main reasons for his concerns, namely Erroneous Reporting; Unauthorised Removal of Fixed Assets from the Association; Presentation of Financial Statement in an environment of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings; Neglected Disclosure Notes to the Financial Statements; and Increased Debt under the Normalization Committee, which all stemmed from the audited report of the TTFA auditor AEGIS Building Solutions.

The eastern football association boss is calling on the TTFA to deal with the concerns first before the audited statement can be sent out to the membership for approval.

Under the headline of Erroneous reporting, Edwards said: “According to the Auditor’s Report, AEGIS Building Solutions stated, “We were unable to determine whether any adjustments might have been found necessary in respect of recorded and unrecorded plant and equipment.” This was because assets were not tagged and there was no proper record keeping of the fixed asset register, which did not include proper descriptions of assets.”

According to Edwards, this means that the figure stated for fixed assets on the Statement of Financial Position of the Audited Financial Statements was incorrect.

He later questioned- then how did the balance sheet balance? as it further suggests that there is a corresponding error on the credit side of the financial statements referred to as a compensating error. “It further suggests that there may be more erroneous and unrealistic figures on the statement of comprehensive income and the statement of cash flow as well,” Edwards noted.

“These financial statements, with the errors noted by the auditor, brings into question the integrity of the Audited Financial Statements for both years and it is not advisable for the members to sign them. The financial statements are now overshadowed by doubt regarding their accuracy, understandability and usefulness and must be corrected before it is presented to the members.”

Edwards also expressed particular concern with the area of unauthorised removal of fixed assets from the association, saying, “It appears that some fixed assets were removed from the Association without authorization. As such, the figures on the Balance Sheet may be inflated. It is therefore likely that there has been a material amount of theft or fraud regarding the Fixed Assets in the TTFA. In fact, the auditors stated that they were unable to verify assets because some Assets were taken off-site and not returned to the Association.”

Edwards’ letter to Hadad on Saturday was accompanied by nine questions seeking responses for if fixed assets were untagged, how then can the determination for Note 3 in the notes to the Financial Statements and the charge for depreciation be deemed; What measures have you put in place to ensure proper record keeping; to how can fixed assets be removed from the premises without proper record keeping, among many others.

Edwards also pointed to the area of Neglected Disclosure Notes to the Financial Statements, saying- “ International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), requires that financial statements must be accompanied by disclosure notes, which assist users of the financial statements in understanding the financial position of the entity. However, the following notes were not disclosed in the Association’s Audited Financial Statements for the years ended 31st December 2020 and 31st December 2021.

These notes, he said, were missing for Inventory under the summary of significant accounting; for office equipment and computer; the impairment of fixed assets; and for employee benefits, as it relates to vacation and pension, among many others.

Edwards made it clear to Hadad and his members that as the manager of the association that they are responsible for safeguarding the fixed assets of the association. “You are required to be accountable for the funding given to you by FIFA and the Government of T&T which you have failed to do. This illustrates that you continue to manage the affairs of the association in a manner that is not financially prudent and responsible,” Edwards said.

Edwards said he has not yet received a response from the normalisation committee and yesterday Guardian Media Sports also requested a comment from Hadad on the concerns expressed by Edwards but got no response.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian