Friday, January 7, 2005
Auditors have "unqualified" praise for town
Chris Rogers of Sullivan, Rogers and Company, independent auditors, presented a bound copy of the final results of the FY04 town audit to the Selectmen at their December 15 meeting. For the first time in several years, the auditors' opinion was "Unqualified — the best you can have," said Rogers. He based his comment on growth in town net assets, improved timeliness in financial reporting, and a better financial management structure. "You're moving in the right direction," he emphasized.
Carlisle's assets exceeded its liabilities at the close of FY04 by $14,998,534 and the town's total net assets increased by $1,012,859. The town's total bonded debt decreased by $1,395,000 (14.6%) during the fiscal year and no new debt was issued. The town has an Aa2 rating from Moody's Investor Service.
Concerns? "I think you guys are doing very well"
"What should we be concerned about?" asked Chair Tim Hult. Rogers thought for a while and then said, "I think you guys are doing very well, to be perfectly honest." The Selectmen persisted, seeking opportunities for strengthening internal controls and operating efficiency, and Rogers suggested that the town might consider forming an Audit Committee. Such a committee would approve the selection of an independent auditor, act upon comments from the auditor with respect to weaknesses in internal accounting control, and review internal accounting procedures with the town's financial staff.
Carlisle currently has a subcommittee that reviews all significant financial filings and reports prior to submission or release. Previously, the Selectmen had voted to establish a formal Audit Committee, but the idea went no further. Hult agreed to revisit the subject at their February meeting and the Board voted 5-0 to accept the final FY04 audit .
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