Audit reveals findings in city’s finances, overall okay

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

The City of Donaldsonville received its audit report for the 2014 year and it revealed some issues that cause for initial concern, according to Mike Waguespack of Waguespack and Gallagher.

The opinion, which is basically their independent auditor’s report, was a clean opinion that is known in the accounting world as “an unqualified opinion.”

“It’s what you want,” Waguespack said.

However, the summarized audit results showed there were some findings with an internal control issue that was noted when the auditor reviewed payroll.

“This consisted of payroll deducts that were turned off and not turned on properly,” Waguespack said. “Everything was made right as far as the amounts that were not deducted properly.”

Waguespack said the problem was fixed, and the mayor has now addressed that concern and outsourced with a payroll provider service called, NetChecks, “who really will add another level of control as well as take the payroll processing as far as the deduct changes out of the scope of the finance and accounting office.”

“It’s an outsource payroll,” Waguespack said. “It’s so inexpensive and it gives you peace of mind that taxes and payments are made timely and correctly. It works well,” Waguespack said.

According to Waguespack, NetChecks is a Louisiana company that’s one of the fastest growing entities in the state and he assured the council and mayor, “we won’t have this issue going forward.”

Mayor Leroy Sullivan said the payroll system is already in place and should begin the first pay period in March.

Waguespack said the second thing was the travel expense. The auditor felt some of the documentation was “inadequate and we really wanted to make sure proper documentation and I think through that process, instead of just gassing up, we want to really just recommend an after-the-fact mileage reimbursement.”

“It’s just cleaner and less subject to audit scrutiny,” Waguespack said. “It makes more sense to do it.”

“Also for out-of-town travel, we recommend you do a per diem based on the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) table,” Waguespack said. “We saw some things were uncomfortable with and we wanted to recommend and note the findings.”

“You have to have a good handle on what’s coming in and going out,” he said.

The auditor is required next year to follow up with every finding it had this year to make sure “we’re on task as the mayor indicated to us as far as his corrected actions are concerned.”

“Other than these findings, it was a good audit, and good financial report,” Waguespack said. “A lot of positive with the sales tax.”