Bill Newkirk of Newkirk & Associates of Plano, whose accounting firm replaced CliftonLarsenAllen, to conduct Sandwich’s financial audit, made a brief presentation of his firm's findings to the city council during a meeting on Monday, Jan. 13.
“Feel free to email me, call me, whatever, I’m available,” Newkirk explained to the council. “I know one of the reasons that the council chose us is because I’m local and available. And I want to definitely make it known that it’s true. If questions come up throughout the year, I’m happy to be available.”
Some highlight that Newkirk addressed pertained to the city's long-term debt, although he didn’t go much into detail. Instead, he guided the council, pointing out items on certain pages so that they can dig through the audit in further detail at a later time.
“We talk about long-term debt, which I mentioned before,” he said. “Consistent capital lease for police vehicles and then bonded debt. So there are details there (in the audit) on that and then we also have a lot of information about the pension fund.”
Newkirk acknowledged that normally there aren’t many difficulties while conducting a municipal audit.
“This year there were numerous delays and I think the city council is aware of a number of those,” he said. “Part of that was we weren’t engaged until July or August and able to start.”
Fourth Ward Alderman Fred Kreinbrink asked whether city staff has the understanding needed to make the journal entries and the correctly balance line items.
“For the most part yes,” Newkirk said. “Lauterback and Amen (Sandwich’s accounting firm) is a competent firm. I think it was partially because they took over mid-year and there was a lot of cleanup there to be done. I’m hoping that with a full fiscal year under their belt and that a lot of that will be rectified. And I know they’ve continued to work in that direction throughout the current fiscal year.”
Ultimately, plans call for getting the audit started and finished earlier going forward.
“The hope is we can start the audit three months earlier and hopefully finish three month earlier,” Newkirk said. “We talked on a number of things to accomplish that.
In other news, the regularly scheduled plan commission meeting is set for Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m.to discuss the zoning of adult use marijuana establishments, a special meeting is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 8 a.m. for preliminary discussion on the proposed 2020-2021 budget and the next regular finance committee meeting will be on Jan. 20 following the committee-of-the-whole meeting.