By Maurice Cacho
Associate News Editor
The RSU has decided to change its auditor for the first time in 15 years, a decision that shocked Salvatore Nasello, a partner at the outgoing auditing firm.
RSU announced their decision at their Nov. 9 Semi-Annual General Meeting. Nasello had not been informed of the decision until he was contacted by the Eyeopener on Friday. Michael Verticchio, RSU executive director, said the students’ union wanted a “fresh pair of eyes” to look over its books.
As well, the new firm will charge $8,500 compared to $15,000 the old firm quoted, he said. “There can be many downsides with having the same person doing something,” said Verticchio. However, he could not explain a downside to keeping Nasello Francella as RSU’s bookkeeper. “Change for the sake of change is not a reflection of good management skills,” said Nasello, a 1975 graduate of Ryerson’s business school.
According to Gordon Lee, a partner at the incoming company, Yale and Partners, Verticchio was concerned the audit was taking too long to complete. The most recent audit was finished in two months. “That’s not the way we would do our audit,” said Lee, adding that his firm would be done in less than a week.
Unlike Nasello Francella, Lee said his firm would not use co-op students to help perform the audit. But Nasello doesn’t think his firm took too long. “A timelier audit was impossible for a number of reasons,” he said, adding that financial documents from CopyRite were not ready for several months. Verticchio could not explain the delays.
“I don’t want to get into all the details around the audit,” he said. Ram Sivapalan, RSU v-p finance, would not make himself available for comment.
The RSU will join similar clients at Yale and Partners, including the Seneca Student Federation and the Student Association at George Brown College. Carol Biefer, executive director at Seneca’s student union, is pleased with the firm, which is more affordable than big firms such as Price Waterhouse-Coopers.
“I recommended them to other universities and colleges,” she said. “We saved about $10,000.”