One of the new supervisors is also the township treasurer, secretary, webmaster, right to know officer.
PA Second Class Township Code allows for wearing all of these hats simultaneously. To be clear, this is not ad hominim. I have no specific issues with this person, I’m suggesting that we petition Harrisburg to update the code.
The secretary decides what gets on the agenda and recorded in the meeting minutes. The treasurer has access to the township checkbook. The right to know officer handles all of the freedom of information requests from the general public. In my opinion, all these roles should be divided among different people.
I’ve heard from other 2nd Class Township Auditors about their involvement in the auditing process when a CPA firm does the audit. Here are some of my findings.
The CPA firm typically does their township over the summer. When the audit is complete the auditors receive an PDF copy via email from the township, and they are invited to attend the meetings between the CPA firm and the supervisors to go over the audit.
At these meetings the auditors can ask questions, and if the auditor has more questions than what can be answered at the public meeting, they are invited back for a private meeting with the township manager to re-open the books. For example, one auditor said that she was able to ask for Parks and Recreation to be broken down in greater detail compared to what comes in the standard audit.
Let’s compare with how audits are done in Barrett:
Barrett’s elected auditors haven’t done the audit in over 15 years, the CPA firm has been doing it since. As auditors, we’re not included in the process at all. The actual audit report is provided to the auditors at our annual reorganization meeting in January, months after it has been prepared. This does not allow the auditors any time to review the Audit report prior to the meeting.
Some townships are lucky enough to have Auditors that still actually do the audit. They do this following DCED guidance and where they follow a 70 page guide that shows them how to review the finances.
Per this DCED guidance, elected auditors are encouraged to review records not only from the Township Supervisors, but also from the Tax Collector, District Justice, Secretary, Treasurer, and Roadmaster.
- I would like to formally request, when the CPA firm does their annual audit, I would like the board of auditors to be included in that process.
- I’d also like to suggest when the township hires a CPA to do the audit, they should switch firms every few years, to make it look like one particular CPA firm isn’t getting too cozy with the books.
- Further, I noticed that our maintenance department’s vehicles aren’t all lettered with Barrett Township’s name, phone number, and website address. I think all township vehicles should be identifiable and marked accordingly.
- I noticed in 2002 the board of auditors recommended that the supervisors “look into purchasing time clocks.” I want to take it a step further and make sure we’re not only using time clocks, but a modern time clock system that uses smart phones and GPS location.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Follow up video re: public comments at Barrett Township Auditor's Meeting