Some school board members at Riverside-Brookfield High School recently expressed frustration with the new auditors the school board hired in spring 2011.
School board member Tim Walsh at a committee of the whole meeting raised some six pages of questions for the auditor who appeared before the school board on Jan. 24.
There were some typographical errors and other issues that had Walsh concerned.
“When you find errors it seems like something else might be wrong,” Walsh said at the meeting.
Paul Thermen, a senior partner at the accounting firm Evans, Marshall & Pease spent an uncomfortable 45 minutes or so in front of the board. The audit was late and, as is fairly common, District 208 had to ask the state for an extension of time to file it.
“I have an issue we need to talk about,” District 208 School Board President Matt Sinde told Thermen. “Why couldn’t we get the reports on a timely basis?”
Thermen replied saying that District 208 ordered an appraisal of its physical assets this year for the first time since 2003, and the auditors had to wait until the appraisers finished their work before they could audit the books.
“It’s something we had no control over,” Thermen said.
Thermen said that while some corrections and changes need to be made in the audit report, the changes will have no material effect.
Until this school year the firm of Mathieson, Moyski, Celer & Co. had performed eight straight audits for District 208. But last spring the school board decided to put the auditing job up for bid and Evans, Marshall and Pease came up with the low bid at $16,200, some $4,550 lower than the next low bidder, and $5,500 lower than the bid from Mathieson, Moyski, Celer & Co.
Interim Chief Financial Officer Tim McGinnis said it is not unusual for an auditing firm to have a little more trouble when they are auditing a new client.
“This is their first year doing the audit here, so it’s a little more complicated for them than if they had been here for a number of years, like the previous firm was,” McGinnis said.