Friday, December 2, 2005
Town audit brings good news
An obviously pleased Treasurer/Tax Collector Larry Barton informed the Board of Selectmen at its November 22 meeting that the town audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, has resulted in an unqualified opinion, the best you can have. This means that the financial position of all town governmental activities and major funds was accurately and fairly presented. "This is the second year in a row that we have received an unqualified opinion," said Barton with justifiable pride.
Accompanying Barton were Audit Committee members Simon Platt, Deb Belanger and Nina Ostrom who have worked with Sullivan, Rogers and Company, independent auditors, on the annual town audit. This "temporary" committee was formed after last year's audit at the suggestion of auditor Chris Rogers, who cited the need for such a group to 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.
Town account balances
top $4 million
Barton went on to review sections of a bound copy of the FY05 town audit that was given to each of the Selectmen. As of June 30, 2005, the total fund balances for the town amounted to $4,021,763. These town funds consist of the Stabilization Fund, non-major Governmental Funds such as trust accounts and revolving accounts, the Community Preservation Fund and the General Fund. The Community Preservation Fund balance actually has a deficit of $384,498 due to a short term note payable of $1,200,000 for the Benfield land.
Of the $1,701,165 in the General Fund balance, $220,946 is encumbered for outstanding expenses related to fiscal 2005. The fund also consists of $226,114 in Free Cash voted at the 2005 Annual Town Meeting to support FY 2006 appropriations and $295,361 estimated as of June 30 representing Carlisle's investment in the North East Solid Waste Committee (NESWC). The undesignated balance in the General Fund is therefore $958,744.
Barton disclosed that Free Cash as of June 30, 2005 has been certified at $943,558. This gives the Finance Committee some significant wiggle room as they begin their FY 2007 budget hearings.
Audit Committee made permanent
Doug Stevenson, chair of the Board of Selectmen, congratulated Barton and members of the Audit Committee for their fine work and the excellent state of the town finances. Speaking for the Audit Committee, Platt said that they will now focus on several key issues in the coming year, including fraud prevention, the Concord-Carlisle and Minuteman High School financial picture, the town's purchase order system and post-retirement healthcare benefits. Board members voted 5-0 to accept the audit report and recommended that the "temporary" Audit Committee become "permanent," before they have a chance to disband.
© 2005 The