Difficult 2005 County Audit Near History
Audit Haunts Treasurer's Office
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[March 19, 2008]
While the issues are seemingly
resolved, and now nearly history, difficulties that led to the delay
of the county's 2005 audit are being replayed. Another local news
entity had an article about a week ago questioning decisions and
actions related to that audit.
An editorial followed on Saturday that prompted Logan County
Treasurer Mary Ellen Bruns to chronicle the matter as a letter to
the editor. Bruns graciously has submitted that information to
Lincoln Daily News as well, so that our readers might also see the
flow of issues her office and auditors had to contend with during
the process and the final outcome.
She details the major problems that began with new software and
were compounded by incompatibility issues with the auditor's
Many of the details were documented in LDN as the process took
place. It was a long, complicated process to get the 2005 audit
completed. It took the help of the current auditors to complete it,
and continued changes in that software to move into the next year.
Auditors are contracted on a three-year basis. The 2005 audit was
the third year with the auditor Crowe Chizek.
The county hired Integrity Data to survey county offices for
their software needs and recommend new software. The 2005 audit was
the first year accounting was completed with Great Plains software.
The software was supported by Tectura.
Logan County was the first government to fully implement the
Great Plains software. A few other governments were using select
modules. In other words, it had limited use as government software.
A new auditor was chosen for the next three-year contract,
beginning with the 2006 audit.
Once the 2005 audit was completed, auditors from Clifton
Gunderson continued to work with the now recognized accounting
issues related to the use of the Great Plains software for the 2006
Last fall, as the time to renew software support contracts and
the purchase of software updates was approaching, Bruns requested
that the county abandon the Great Plains software and go to a more
commonly used government accounting software. She had researched
what other Illinois governments were using and requested Kintera
FundWare. It offered a better system and overall would reduce costs.
It is the same software as the city of Lincoln uses.
[to top of second column]
Since the changeover to new software this year, the monthly
reports to the finance committee have been positive.
Clifton Gunderson's auditors were put to a disadvantage for time,
as prior year audits must be completed before the following audits.
They were not only delayed in starting their contracted work, but
assisted greatly in completing the 2005 audit and have made headway
at bringing the audits back on track for timely completion by the
start of the next audit. Since they stepped in, there have been
glowing remarks from the treasurer's office, and any other county
office that has had contact with them, relayed during monthly
reports to the county finance committee.
Below are links to some key articles that document the struggle
to complete the 2005 audit. There were other articles as well that
may contain some other details. You can find them by searching the
LDN archives through the Google box at the top of the front page.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]