Century Discusses Audit Problems As Due To Coding, Communications

January 10, 2018

The Century Town Council held a special workshop meeting Tuesday evening to discuss findings of a recent audit and work not yet done to complete an audit coming due soon to the state.

The audit uncovered numerous financial problems in Century during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. Those findings included  deteriorating financial conditions that could result in a future “financial emergency”, $3.83 million in transferred special revenue funds that must be repaid to another fund, over $1.4 million in expenditures in violation of state statutes, over $5,000 in a bank account that did not appear on the books and other deficiencies.

The council discussed that many of the findings were simply due to transactions that were simply mis-coded, essentially placed in the wrong category when entered into financial software. There are no allegations of wrongdoing or missing funds.

Town Clerk Leslie Howington said it had been common practice to “borrow” funds from one account, such as the general fund, to another fund, such as the gas fund, in order to pay bills by their due date. The funds would then be recorded as due to the general fund and due from the gas fund. Instead, she said, the funds should have  been coded as operational transfers.

The town is currently working with town attorney Matt Dannheiser to re-code fiscal year 2015-2016 transactions to correct audit findings.

Auditing firm Warren Averett has warned town officials that information needed for their current audit was due December 31 but was not received. Now, the the auditors have pushed their schedule for fieldwork from this month to May, giving the town a deadline of April 15 to provide information and files. The council, in turn , is requiring that their CPA, Robert Hudson, provide completed reports to the council by April 1.

“Communication, communication,” Council member Ben Boutwell said. “So many of these problems have been caused by the lack of communication. You need to provide people with a (deadline) to provide you information and keep a paper trail of that.”

The town council is also  now requiring Hudson to communicate current financial information to them during the second council meeting of each month.

Pictured: The Century Town Council discusses audit findings Tuesday evening. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Comments

6 Responses to “Century Discusses Audit Problems As Due To Coding, Communications”

  1. Dig Deeper on January 10th, 2018 10:20 pm

    The Town of Century is a JOKE! Why on earth are they allowing Robert Hudson to continue as their “CPA”?!?! Okay, “miss coding” of data, but don’t they pay Robert Hudson over $2,000 per month to FIND transactions that have been miss coded?! If it were an immaterial amount, okay, but $3.8 million and $1.4 million sounds like a very MATERIAL amount to me. Also, how does he allow a bank account to be opened and have funds deposited and spent and it never makes the Town’s books?!

    And, give me a break, “are they going to be audit every year now”, the Town of Century has always been required to be audited every year. It seems like the Town of Century and the citizens of Century are completely fine with a CPA billing exorbitant fees and DOING NOTHING to earn his fees. SMH!!!

  2. Citizen on January 10th, 2018 4:39 pm

    What I saw by looking over the Florida auditor general website was this year in question 2015-2016 was a different auditor than there had been in the past few years. I see that for three years in a row, they didn’t correct the findings, lack of internal controls and such. Is this why it kicked it over to this other firm Warren Averitt?

    It is a shame the were late again but glad Warren Averitt pointed that out. Will WA be doing every audit or does it kick it back to the one in Brewton that they had been using? Can the council chose their own auditor?

    I would think they should not rehire the same accountant (in Atmore) and auditor (in Brewton) but sometimes in a small town, people are forgiving and are all about second chances.

    I don’t completely under stand the audit process but I think a committee at the state level formed is looking harder at these uncorrected audits than they used to. That is a layer of government I support, so maybe that is causing all to do a better job all in all. Three uncorrected in a row kicked it over I think.

    Government in the sunshine is best for all.

    William, will you explain the process? I tried to dig around on my own, learn a lot that way but I suppose nothing wrong with just asking an question for clarity.

    Is the State attorney looking into this or would a complaint for a complete investigation have to be filed?

  3. William on January 10th, 2018 3:48 pm

    >>>Will they be audited every year now?

    State law says they are and will be.

  4. Resident on January 10th, 2018 3:45 pm

    Will they be audited every year now?

  5. Citizen on January 10th, 2018 3:40 pm

    The Florida Auditor General Web site is fantastic.

    I am so glad that the municipalities are being audited and made accountable to the taxpayers.

    1)Incompetence
    2)Accountant not doing job he was hired to do
    3)Lack of oversite over a period of time

    Glad they are addressing the problems and moving on.

  6. retired on January 10th, 2018 3:20 pm

    there should not be any robbing peter to pay paul. 3.8 million. over $1.4 million in expenditures in violation of state statutes. sounds like the fox got in the hen house.





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