Friday, July 18, 2003
Auditor okays town records for fiscal year 2002
On June 24 Chris Rogers of the auditing firm Sullivan, Rogers & Company, LLC, met with the Carlisle Board of Selectmen to discuss the recently completed audit of the town for fiscal year 2002 (FY02). The auditor's remarks were generally favorable. He assured the board that the FY02 data was consistent with prior years, and with other similar towns.
One recommendation he made was to increase the town's "unreserved" funds. Including the stabilization fund, Carlisle's total unencumbered funds equaled about 6.5% of the budget in 2002. Rogers noted that this is at the low end of the 5%·15% recommended range. (According to accounting terminology, Carlisle's "reserve fund" is an "unreserved" fund, i.e. a fund of money not reserved or assigned for a specific use.)
Along with the audit, Sullivan, Rogers & Company sent the town a management letter containing additional comments and recommendations for the town. Since such letters are studied by Moodys, the firm involved with determining Carlisle's bond ratings, the selectmen mobilized a response team when a draft of the management letter had been received this spring. (See "Town responds to auditor's advice" on page 5 of the June 20 issue.) Rogers said that many of the comments in the management letter were simply suggestions on how to handle the town's financial record keeping more efficiently in order "to make everybody's life easier." Rogers expected the town's bond rating would remain stable, since the town's performance had been consistent with previous years.
Selectman Tim Hult asked what the auditor's expectations were in regard to the letter's recommendations. Rogers expected the town to begin working on the items during the coming year. The items he felt were most important included: establishing an audit committee, creating a manual of financial policies and procedures, and developing methods to facilitate reconciliation of Treasurer's and Accountant's records.
The town of Carlisle was the first municipal customer for the new accounting firm, which is based in Burlington. However, Rogers said that he has been working in the field for nine years, and his partner has twenty years of experience.
© 2003 The