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This is NOT an audit of Barrett Township

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or its Board of Auditors. 

After I was appointed auditor in November 2018, I requested a copy of the previous year’s CPA audit from Pam Gardsy (Barrett Township Secretary/Treasurer, who replaced Rick Scrudato in 2015).  Pam emailed a copy of the auditor’s report, but it did not include the cover letter.  I wound up filing two Right-To-Know requests to obtain the following information:  

After reviewing these files, here are my findings: 

a.  The township DID exceed its budget in fiscal year 2016. (See Note 1) I’m not sure if anything came of this.  And I’m not sure if 2017 was the same.  I’m pretty sure the 2018 audit is still pending.

b.  The CPA firm DID NOT audit the “Statement of Revenues, Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balance - Budget to Actual - General Fund.”  (See 10/26/17 Letter.  If anyone can provide further details about this I would be happy to include them here.)  It also did not audit any pension information.  

c.  The CPA firm DID NOT perform a detailed examination of all transactions.  (See 10/26/17 Letter) They only audited on a “test basis,” which means the CPA firm selected a number of transactions from the year to confirm that records properly existed for those transactions. 

d. The CPA firm’s audit DID NOT provide assurance on internal control or identify deficiencies in internal control.  (See 10/26/17 Letter) . An example of a current internal control is a policy stating two supervisors must sign all checks.  

e.  The township uses the “activity basis” for its accounting system.  (See Note 1) Having only heard of “cash basis” and “accrual basis," I did some research into the activity basis.  I found that the activity basis is a potentially complicated system compared to cash & accrual, but it can be helpful because you can use it to come up with ideas and ways of saving money.  Here is a helpful video that explains it well: it’s called "Applying Activity-Based Costing to the Public Sector” from a Harvard Business School professor:


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0 #1 Ethel Huff 2019-02-07 13:38
Thank you for this update! Excellent video. Please keep us updated with additional information, explanation, and recommendations.
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Nate Covington (about me)

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