by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- Randy Watkins of Watkins & Schommer Inc., the new auditors hired by the City of Walsenburg, gave a preliminary draft report at the City Finance Committee meeting on Monday night.
Watkins says the report will be completed and will get to the state prior to the Sept. 30th deadline. He said completing the report was not easy because he had a hard time getting a handle on opening balances on some of the accounts and having to make numerous adjustments over how the past auditor accounted for entries.
As with any audit, Watkins says his firm looked into but did not find any fraud or missing monies.THey did find monies often misapplied to wrong accounts. Changing the coding will improve the fund balances accounting.
Watkins felt that former city finance director Krystel Vigil “tried really hard to do a good job but that she was in over her head.” He felt that she could have gotten more support and guidance that she needed from the previous auditor. How much help Vigil asked of the previous auditor was not known. Watkins praised new city finance director Dave Johnston as being very helpful along with Assistant Administrator Beth Neece.
Watkins suggested the City might consider turning payroll duties over to a payroll company to help reduce the workload on the finance director or other members of the staff. He said these firms are reasonably priced. Watkins also suggested having a monthly closing checklist of dates and reports that need to be taken care of in a timely manner.
The City will receive a management letter outlining areas that need improvement and will assist the City in improving performance for next year’s audit.
Mayor Bruce Quintana said, “We know where we had some problems and how to fix them. It’s best to get them out in the open and move on.”