The finance committee anticipated that there might
be problems with the audit process before it began. There had been
difficulties with the new computer system and software implemented
the year that now involves the audit in question. Fund balances
would not balance and monthly reports could not be generated for
much of the year.
The audit is now more than a year overdue.
Pat O’Neill opened what became an in-depth 35-minute discussion of
what happen, what is happening and what can happen. O’Neill said
that he is really bothered by the lack of satisfactory progress.
When he was in treasurer Mary Ellen Bruns office last week he
observed an auditor asking her for the same information as she gave
them nine-months ago.
Finance chairman Chuck Ruben offered that, “Errors were possibly
made in the treasurer’s office in the due-to and due-from’s and they
cannot be reconstructed, so far.”
O’Neill suggested that maybe the Logan County states attorney or the
Illinois Attorney General’s office should investigate.
At this point board chairman, Dick Logan addressed points made by
O’Neill. He said, “Mr. O’Neil. if you have the answers, give it to
O’Neill, John Stewart and Gloria Luster asked
numerous questions, which Ruben attempted to answer. Questions were
targeted at what can be done and how to avoid this in the future.
They also questioned the extra costs that the county has had to pay
to the auditor and the software company.
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The new auditors, a husband wife team, Bill and Helen Barrick, have
been working to straighten the remaining issue. Problems still exist
between the 38 due-to and due-from account entries. Their focus at
this point is on the new audit and Bill is working as time allows on
correcting those fund balances. Ruben said that he thanks Bill
profusely each time he sees him.
Ruben said, “This is not a blame game.” As near as he can tell,
“Nobody has done anything wrong or libelous.” He said it happened
due to a complex series of problems, “We hit the perfect storm.”
Ruben said that the county could quit and take an unqualified audit,
but he would prefer to continue at least to August and try to get
this one completed. An unqualified audit seems to hold, at worst, a
poor rating and that would prevent the county from being able to
issue bonds. The county has no plans to issue any bonds at this
time, but it would still be preferable not to take an unqualified
audit, he said.
[Dale Voyles / Jan Youngquist]