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Princeton reviews audit

PRINCETON — The Princeton City Council has accepted the city’s 2011-12 audit, after discussion about “significant deficiencies” as stated on the audit report.

At Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Joel Quiram said he had just received the audit on the previous Friday and needed more time to study the document, but he did see the new auditors said there were four “significant deficiencies” in the city’s operations. The Striegel, Knobloch & Company LLC firm of Bloomington firm performed this year’s audit for the city.

The first deficiency stated the city did not complete bank reconciliations in a timely manner. The second deficiency said several of the city’s individual fund cash in bank accounts are shown as overdrafts at the end of the fiscal year. The third deficiency noted the city has not properly funded the reserves required by the various bond ordinances, and the fourth deficiency stated the city has expenditures in excess of budgeted amounts in various funds at the end of the fiscal year.

City Manager Jeff Clawson reviewed the deficiencies and the steps which are being taken to correct them.

On Tuesday, Clawson further addressed the deficiency issues, saying the first two deficiencies related to a reconciliation problem which has existed. He has changed a number of internal procedures, and the reconciliation problem will soon be resolved. The city is currently reconciling bank accounts on a monthly basis, as recommended, the city manager said.

Clawson said the third deficiency will be resolved beginning with Fiscal Year 2013-14, which begins May 1, when the city will set aside reserve amounts which will be dedicated to meet the requirements of the bond ordinances.

The fourth deficiency relates to an inconsistent reporting standard for the budgeted funds that existed previously, Clawson said. He has revised the chart of accounts and changed the number of funds to better accommodate the city’s financial structure. This will reduce the items over budget by better consolidation of like services.

Also concerning the audit, Clawson said previous audit reports, including the current one, do not present the required disclosures relating to the police and fire pension funds. This will be fixed, and all appropriate disclosures will be included in future audits. With the exception of the police/fire pension, the city has received an unqualified, or clean, opinion from the auditors.

A copy of the current 80-page audit is available at City Hall or may also be emailed to residents.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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