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Audit declares accounting deficiencies

Staff writer

The city of Hillsboro has one longstanding “significant deficiency” in its financial controls and accounting systems, according to the 2010 audit report by Adams, Brown, Beran, & Ball presented Thursday at a city council meeting.

The deficiency is almost entirely caused by the small size of the city, accountant Bill Glazner said. Because of the city’s small staff, there isn’t enough ability to separate the ability to approve, receive, and document purchases, known as “segregation of duties.”

Glazner said even most cities three or four times the size of Hillsboro don’t have enough staff for sufficient segregation of duties.

The accounting firm issued its findings as an unqualified opinion, indicating it found the city abided by accepted accounting principles and had accurate financial statements.

The audit report also included recommendations to improve financial controls. Those include:

  • Improving password protection of city computer programs. Currently, city office employees all know one another’s passwords.
  • Producing written manuals of financial policies and procedures to prevent misunderstandings.
  • Updating signature cards for city checking accounts.
  • Reviewing procedures about collecting lease income.
  • Implementing a policy requiring each employee take a consecutive week of vacation each year. This would make it easier to discover misappropriations.
  • Establishing a written agreement with the Hillsboro Golf Association about the operation of the golf course. The city and association currently work on a handshake agreement.
  • Improving recordkeeping by the Convention and Visitors Bureau, including meeting minutes and financial statements.
  • Improving several aspects of recordkeeping at the library.

Boy Scout visits meeting

The council had a spectator younger than most people who take an interest in the meetings. Boy Scout David Perry of rural Hillsboro attended the meeting to complete a requirement for Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge.

David, 12, said the merit badge is the final one he needs to qualify for the Eagle Scout award. He still has to complete a leadership service project, but he has some ideas for a project already.

In other business:

  • The Standard Traffic Ordinance was approved with a few changes for local regulations.
  • The Uniform Public Offense Code was approved.
  • Mayor Delores Dalke was elected to be the city’s delegate at the National League of Cities meeting.
  • A bill of $34,114 was approved for Reynolds Inliner LLC for work cleaning and recording sewer lines in preparation to put in cured-in-place-pipe liners. The council also approved payment of $13,500 to engineering firm Evans, Bierly, Hutchison & Associates P.A. for design work for the project.
  • Moving a sign touting the achievements of Hillsboro High School sports teams from U.S. 56 to Ash Street was approved. The city will process an application for a variance by Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce, which owns the sign.
  • The city received a $15,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant to plan sidewalk improvements.
  • A proposal to prohibit J-turns on streets with a centerline will be on the agenda for the next council meeting, 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Last modified Sept. 28, 2011

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