City picks Silas Simmons for audit

Published 1:01 am Thursday, May 24, 2018

NATCHEZ — This year’s audit of the City of Natchez will likely be late for the seventh consecutive year, though officials have begun the process earlier than in the past few years.

City leaders approved Silas Simmons LLP Tuesday to conduct this year’s audit, transitioning away from the auditor the city has used for the past several years, The Gillon Group, PLLC. Silas Simmons submitted the lone proposal to perform this year’s audit.

Email newsletter signup

The fiscal year 2017 audit will cost just less than $53,000, approximately $11,000 less than last year’s audit, City Clerk Megan Edmonds said Wednesday.

Having the audit done before June 30 — the deadline to have the audit completed and submitted — appears unlikely, as Edmonds said she sees a realistic goal as the end of September.

“Of course, our hope is they can get in here and get it knocked out in an adequate amount of time … I would say definitely by the end of September,” Edmonds said. “We want to have it done before we go into another fiscal year.”

If the fiscal year 2017 audit were completed by the end of September that would be approximately four months sooner than the 2016 audit.

Edmonds told city leaders that the clerk’s office was working to make sure everything was ready for the auditors to come in and do their work efficiently, including working to reconcile remaining bank statements. The reconciliation of bank statements has been an ongoing goal for Edmonds, who stepped into a clerk’s office in dire straights following years of mismanagement.

Those statements are now approximately 85-percent complete, and they expect to have the city’s general fund reconciled in two weeks, Edmonds and Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said Tuesday.

The clerk’s office will soon have a pre-audit meeting with Silas Simmons representatives to nail down a more concrete timeline, Edmonds said.