Clerks commended over audit

By Grace Moore

At the Monday night meeting of the Moorcroft governing body, Deidre Budahl, a partner in the auditing company of Casey Peterson and Associates, commended Clerk/Treasurer Cheryl Schneider for her dedicated efforts to clean up Moorcroft’s accounting practices and books, which has been a debacle for several years.

She showed the comment page from a previous review in which the auditors advised the town how to better allocate funds, manage accounting and keep the books.

“I don’t know if all of you remember, but this, at one time, was five pages long with a lot of things to work on and now it’s one page,” she said.

“The town has really gone the right direction and it’s really helped to have stability in the finance office.”

Budahl went over the review for 2016/2017 with the present governing body, Mayor Steve Sproul not attending. The leases for the ambulance and loader created anomalous numbers, “a skewed budget”, because the cash accounting shows an over-expenditure as though the town actually purchased, in whole, the equipment, not able to account for the annual payment plan.

“It’s not something we consider a big deal because you haven’t necessarily budgeted for that, you borrowed for it so you’re spending it over time,” she said.

Budahl presented the MTC separately, per the council’s request, because the center was running at a deficit in 2017 and “the general fund was subsidizing” the building maintenance. While the town overall “broke even” throughout their projects, the repairs and improvements on the MTC did not.

She reminded the council that if they spend over $750,000 in federal grant and loan funding, by law the town must conduct a full audit, which “requires a lot more work on our end and a lot more monitoring of compliance on your end, so just be aware that you’re going to have to satisfy those requirements.”

As Budahl finished the very favorable report, Mayor-Pro-Tem Paul Smoot said, “Coming in as the new guy, that’s really good to hear; that was a big concern I had when I was running for this position, being responsible and trying to do the right thing. I think Cheryl and even Jodi [Clark] has been a great asset.”