Not so fast Mr. Kisela April 16, 2014 2:50 PM
From: “Ted Noftall” <Ted@TedNoftall.com>
The following comments are in follow-up to our conversation at the A&B Advisory board meeting on April 14th
Your suggestion that my posts on blogs and elsewhere caused the finance employee who was hired to perform the monthly reconciliations of the City’s bank accounts to resign is pathetic.
If that individual required minimal assistance to do her job she should have received it, AND the monthly bank reconciliations should have been completed on a timely basis without exception or excuse. so as to safeguard taxpayer interests at all times.
If that individual required more than minimal assistance to complete those reconciliations, (a) she should never have been hired to a position for which she was un-qualified, and (b) she should have been dismissed when her lack of qualification became obvious.
EITHER WAY the failure was yours as was your decision to hide the fact that timely bank reconciliations were not completed for most of last year, AND THEN you compounded that deception by having your finance director mislead the A&B board regarding their bank reconciliation inquiries.
While I understand you do not want anyone reviewing the qualifications and experience of those you employ let me tell you why that is important and remind you that the A&B Advisory board was established with the bedrock purpose of creating a: professionally inquisitive and guardedly skeptical volunteer citizen oversight board, possessing specialized educational and practical experience in matters of audit and finance to be on guard as yet another failsafe, to alert Council and the People they are elected to represent, as to any potential concerns regarding the independence and performance of future Auditors, Managers and Finance Directors alike.
Now let me tell you why this review is relevant. The independent Auditors opinion reads in part;
- “ The City’s management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America; this includes the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.“ ( Independent Auditors’ Report – CAFR P 21 )
At the last A&B meeting that Auditor confirmed that while the City does not prepare its own financial statement but rather subs out that task ….. he is not of the understanding that the City subs out the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements, nor does his firm assist with those matters as that would impact his independence.
So let me ask you directly – Does the City sub out the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control, OR does it perform that task in house, OR is that task not performed at all ??
If the City performs that task in house who actually performs that design, implementation, and maintenance ??, AND what qualifications and experience does that individual or individuals possess to adequately discharge the important task of designing, implementing and monitoring controls adequate to safeguarding taxpayer assets .…. because if any of your Finance staff including your Finance Director or Comptroller is a degreed accountant, or holds a CPA designation , or has any recent professional accounting or auditing experience those facts are well concealed on their resumes.
Manager Kisela you should be further aware of a serious problem with the veracity and competency of what your Finance director is saying and doing . Mr. Saunders told me not less than 6 or 8 months ago that while historically City staff never reviewed the monthly reconciliation of the CITY bank account administered by Kemper Sports they were doing so as at the time of that conversation, YET at Monday’s A&B meeting he advised that last month was only the 1st or 2nd month those reviews had taken place. Big difference.
When pressed he further advised that he personally performed last month’s bank reconciliation review. That is most curious because as you may remember at the last Golf board meeting I inquired as to an explanation regarding the $7,664 negative number in an account labeled Cash-Housebank & Other. Not only did Mr. Saunders not offer an explanation at that golf meeting he was not able to offer an explanation last evening, some 3 weeks later although he did mumble something to the effect that he just looked at that months reconciliation.
So what exactly does Mr. Saunders ‘ bank reconciliation review’ consist of, and is it an adequate review ??
Finally Manager Kisela the current level deception regarding the your Finance department’s performance is not in the best interest of the taxpaying public.
The public never received a copy of the Auditor’s management letter for the 2012 Audit , AND only received a copy from the 2013 management letter inadvertently. Council approved that letter as part of the 2013 Audit package at their March 25th 2013 meeting and while it was posted on the City web site initially it was subsequently removed LIKELY BECAUSE it not only contained a most disparaging remark regarding the readiness of your Finance staff, BUT BECAUSE IT HAS CALLED into direct question the veracity of what Mr. Saunders advised the A&B board at their Jan 13th meeting regarding delays in the start of the Audit.
Is there a problem with Mr. Saunders veracity, OR is the problem that he is just not well informed as to what is going on in his department ??.