Missouri athletic department forced to tighten procedures in accounting for tickets to campus sporting events

The Mizzou athletic program is cracking down on its employees and players after being audited as a part of a routine check up on school-issued funds. The sanctions came after the audit flagged a $7,600 strip club bill, a $3,000 team dinner and an assortment of other minor purchases charged under the school’s name.

The audit summary underlined the loose system Missouri had in place, scanning over 14,000 transactions leading to the deactivation of over 30 credit cards. It also recommended a number of compliance changes to the athletic department, including giving away free tickets as well as accounting for unused ones. Part of the audit summary reads, “some users with access to the ticketing system also have custody of tickets and control the reconciliation process,” which increases “the risks that the reconciliations could be manipulated and unauthorized tickets could be distributed.”

The moral of this story: Where there is power, there is corruption. Anywhere tickets are being managed without safeguards in place, there is fraud and theft.

Athletic departments using school-funds for leisure and individuals selling free tickets for profit is far from a novelty. These practices extend across the country and will continue until the schools decide it’s time to crack down. For most of these schools, that time usually comes after an expensive audit. The personal use of these team assets is rampant and these trends will not change without a decision to make ticket transparency a priority.

Compliance is no longer an afterthought, it’s a necessity. Ticket management software, like Spotlight, ensures that the tickets are in the right hands and that they are tracked and reviewed. Don’t end up with auditors asking you questions you don’t know the answer to. If your company has tickets, it will soon become accountable for those assets. Instead of being in the dark, know who is using your tickets, who they are taking to these events and how much revenue they are generating with these entertainment packages. The days of getting away with a couple of fraudulent charges are over and the audit and penalty risks are much higher.

Ticket misuse is rampant but very easy to fix. As Ben Franklin famously said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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