‘We need this done’: Spencer still awaiting audit on Wednesday afternoon – Salisbury Post


SPENCER — Spencer officials say the city expected to receive its audit report Tuesday morning, but as of Wednesday the documents are still in limbo.

The city council approved a fourth contract extension with the HR CPAs on Tuesday evening, a step it should have taken anyway because the process has far exceeded the last deadline set in May. Audit reports are normally completed by the end of October and the report is now eight months overdue.

City budget officer John Sofley told council he had a conversation with HR and the financial statements were balanced, but on Tuesday morning he was told the auditor for the city’s report was sick. City manager Peter Franzese said the city was told he was still ill on Wednesday and that afternoon Franzese met with Sofley to see if the report could be sent by someone else from the city. ‘company.

“We’re beyond the timeline of just understanding this,” Franzese told the Post. “We need this to be over.”

Franzese noted that the city is approaching its next audit cycle for the fiscal year that just ended and he expects a contract as well as discussion of the issue at the August board meeting.

The first extension earlier this year was attributed to COVID-19.

The second delay was attributed to the creation of an electronic balance that matches the city’s audited financial statements for 2020 and the city was told a draft would be sent to Sofley “within the next week”. It was in March.

The third extension approved on May 10 comes with similar reasons and a promise to deliver a draft report that week. The problem was attributed to the fact that past audits were done on paper rather than electronically.

“The issues were some of the underlying data on the spreadsheets involved,” Franzese said.

Two months later, Sofley indicated that he was in contact with the firm, the accounts were reconciled, but the report was not made Tuesday morning.

Spencer Mayor Johnathan Williams said everyone was surprised when it was announced on Tuesday that the audit had still not been received. He was greeted with a mix of head shakes, eye rolls and audible mockery from the board. Williams said that at this point the delays are almost comical.

“Let me put it like this,” Williams said. “Whoever our auditor was for the last financial year, when it comes time to have that audit contract, I want to be sure that whoever that company is is more responsive and timely than our current experience.”

Williams said the city would not tolerate delays like this for another year. He said switching auditors from a manual audit to an electronic model was a big change and needed to happen for the city, but it took too long.

“There were reasons for it early on,” Williams said. “Now I am not convinced that the reasons for the delay are satisfactory.”

Williams said he continued to receive letters from the Local Government Commission on the matter and Franzese said that with all the good projects going on in Spencer, it was not an issue they wanted to deal with.

“In reality, I know it’s not our fault, it’s in the hands of a CPA firm, but in our quest to be a model small town for North Carolina, we have to meet deadlines to state requirements,” Williams said. “Its important to me.”

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