The findings are in…and they are good, according to Manhattan City Director of Finance Bernie Hayen. Hayen, along with members of the auditing firm, Varney and Associates, and the Municipal Audit Committee presented and discussed the findings during Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting.
Michelle Crow, owner of and CPA at Varney and Associates, said there are several different phases which comprise the audit. The first phase is planning, much of which includes risk assessments that lay the foundation for the following phases. Crow said these risk assessments are almost like a “living document,” as they constantly change during the process, as audit members dive into different departments and aspects of the audit. Phase 2 is field work, which included a check in with outside entities that have an effect on the city’s financials. Those entities included the Flint Hills Discovery Center and the Manhattan Municipal Court. What Crow deemed as “extra procedures” are what Phase 3 consists of. The audit firm looks at compliance and regulation at this point. The final phase is the actual reporting of findings.
CPA Matt Schwartz reported no fraud or suspect of fraud was found during the audit. Other suggestions and observations were noted, but Schwartz said City management have already discussed and reported back in reference to those notes. Many of the suggestions pertained to the grant monitoring process, court receivable allowances, cash reconciliation, and capital assets. Schwartz noted that none were of major concern.
Hayen praised the work of the city staff, especially City Controller Rina Neal, in addition to the collaboration of the Municipal Audit Committee and Varney and Associates.