Ridgecrest audit reveals discrepancies

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, November 23, 2011

RIDGECREST — Insufficient documentation to support transactions, classifications and disclosures in financial statements were among many discrepancies found in the audit of Ridgecrest’s 2010 budget.

The audit, conducted by Silas Simmons, a certified public accounting and consulting firm in Natchez, was under review by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office until Monday.

The audit lists several examples of findings regarding internal control and compliance material to Ridgecrest’s financial statements:

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– Deposits recorded in the payment register don’t agree with the deposits made to the bank.

The deposits per payment register totaled $136,723 and the deposits made to the bank totaled $111,324. The total unreconciled difference was $25,399.

– Ridgecrest budgeted expenditures of $107,750 for 2010, but its actual expenditures totaled $166,484. The expenditures were a 54 percent excess of the budget. Louisiana Revised Statute 39:1311 requires expenditures to be no more than 5 percent greater than the budgeted expenditures.

– The financial statements presented to the Board of Aldermen did not include balance sheets and only included cash collected and cash disbursements.

The company recommended that the general ledgers be prepared monthly and balance sheets and income statements be presented to the Board of Aldermen at each monthly meeting.

– The beginning balances of the general ledgers for 2010 did not include accounts with credit balances and many adjustments had to be recommended and made in order to create a meaningful general ledger.

The aduit suggested the duties of the town clerk be broken up and given to more than one person and that the books and records be completed early enough for the auditor to complete the audit work on a timely basis.

Dwayne Sikes was sworn in as mayor Monday afternoon and said he hopes to call a special meeting next week to keep the citizens and aldermen up to speed on the situation.

Sikes will replace former Mayor Kevin Graham, who resigned four weeks ago.