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Audit finds material weaknesses

A recent audit of the finances of the Town of Farmville and approved by the Town Council Wednesday, Jan. 13, showed three material weaknesses, but no significant deficiencies or instances of non-compliance were discovered.

The audit performed by the certified public accountants of Brown Edwards showed material weaknesses in the way the town segregates financial responsibilities, a problem with a journal entry at the end of the fiscal year and an information technology issue that was redacted from the public audit report due to security issues.

The material weakness for segregation of duties is the result of the town working with a small financial staff that shares many duties typically split among other employees in a larger office. The audit report said the town lacks sufficient staff to properly segregate duties. The audit recommended the town eliminate conflicting duties where possible.

The audit said no one employee should have access to both the physical assets (money or checks) and the related accounting records.

The second material weakness listed involved the lack of posting of accounting journal entries at the end of the year. The audit said the entries were “deemed material to the financial statements” and the effect of the finding is that it could “mislead users as to the actual financial condition of the town.”

Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis said the issue was caused by the transition to a new financial system. He said when certain accounts were transferred from one system to the other, they were all accounted for, but some were in different accounts than where they should have been recorded.

“The transfer mistake has been found and the adjustments have been made appropriately,” Davis said.

The third material weakness involved the information technology system. Comments concerning this weakness were redacted from the report.

The Town Council approved the audit unanimously without discussion.