City works to reconcile CPA’s recommendations

In the midst of closing out the financial statements for fiscal year 1999-2000, the City of Brady appears to be making good use of their most recent audit. In a letter sent to the mayor and council members dated May 19, 2000, local CPA Michael Schaffner, outlined several recommendations based upon his findings in the annual audit. According to the letter, numerous standard accounting procedures either were not in place or needed to be given more detail in order to begin a financial track record that would comply and promote more timely and accurate annual audits. “What this most recent audit did was give us a starting point where we could begin working on the recommendations Schaffner made,” said City Financial Officer Lisa Remini. “We are not where we need to be yet, but we are working each day toward addressing all of the basic issues Schaffner covered in his letter.” Two of the most important issues relating to the overall financial records of the City involve monthly reconciliations of the pooled cash account and preparing and maintaining a list of general fixed assets of the City. According to Ms. Remini, since the completion of the audit, she and her staff have been working to perform bank reconciliations on the pooled cash account on a monthly basis. She did, however, state that they are still working at reconciling the liability accounts such as payroll taxes payable, retirement payable, insurance expense and other liabilities. “As of Sept. 30, we have a bank reconciliation program in place for the issues Schaffner requested. We needed a starting point, and the audit did just that. We are not in compliance on the liability accounts yet, but this is my goal for the next fiscal year,” she said. Concerning the lack of a written inventory of fixed assets, according to both Ms. Remini and City Manager Gary Broz, the list and appropriate depreciation schedules is nearing completion. “What I had to do was quite a large task,” stated Ms. Remini. “I had to find the company that made our old fixed asset inventory software, learn how to use it myself and then input the data from the past three years. By doing this, the software will calculate the appropriate numbers, and we will have the current list complete with accurate depreciation tables.” Ms. Remini also stated that entering the retroactive data for the previous years is an arduous task and that she is approximately three quarters of the way through completing the data input. “I am working on the fixed asset accounts, and Merle Taylor is in charge of the utility funds or earning revenue funds,” said Ms. Remini. “The utility funds must be depreciated and accounted for in order to be correct and this hasn’t been done until this point. We really needed this starting point that the audit provided us.”

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