Benton Parks Commission Outlines Audit Investigation

The Benton Parks Commission has compiled a list of specific areas into which the group wants local accounting firm Yoakum, Lovell and Co. to investigate.
The audit was approved by the commission in April following a review of concession stand cash transactions handled by the Benton Parks Department at Tyndall Park in 2011.
The review, conducted by the city of Benton Finance Manager Karen Scott, revealed a lack of documents such as receipts and invoices to track transactions from the fund.
During the commission's regular monthly meeting Thursday night, commissioner Jasen Kelly read a list of 15 specific areas for investigation. Following a discussion by the commission, the list was accepted and approved. Kelly will present the list to Yoakum, Lovell and Co.
The list and rationale for each item to be investigated was provided to the Saline Courier by Kelly. The items include:
1.      Any bid documents – bid specifications, advertisements, bids received, quotes received.
2.      Receipt books – verify that receipts match the funds deposited.
3.      Receipts books – examine any voided receipts – check to see if the reason for the void is listed, check to see percentage of receipts voided, check to see if any voided receipts listed cash as the type of payment.
4.      Receipt books – examine to determine flow of funds on Gene Moss Building rental – deposits, fees, deposits refunded, etc.
5.      Contracts – examine any contracts the department has on file and whether or not the Parks Commission approved them.
6.      Fuel purchases – examine all fuel purchases including dates of purchase, gallons and amount of purchase, all information related to fuel purchases and whether or not any receipts of purchases are on file at the parks department.
7.      Fuel purchases – examine for “reasonableness.”
8.      Payments to contractors – examine to determine work performed and total dollars spent to determine if the purchasing process was circumvented (i.e. maximum $20,000 without sealed bids, other bids should have three quotes.)
9.      Payments to contractors – determine if there are any contracts in place that spell out the work to be performed, the amount to be paid, the duration of the project, etc.
10.  Forms that exist for rental agreements – Gene Moss Building, softball fields, tournaments, etc.
11.  Procedures/rules and regulations for rentals – were policies/procedures established by the Parks Commission followed.
12.  Any documentation related to the Parks Department/Parks Commission allowing an outside person to run the softball programs/concessions – agreements, amounts to be paid, etc.
13.  Any documentation related to parties contracted to take team/individual photos and commissions to be paid.
14.  Grants documentation – any files on existing grants received and work being done in conjunction with the grant to include grant agreements from the granting agencies and any documentation the parks department was required to file as to the status of the work completion.
15.  Examine any and all seasonal, non-seasonal, temporary, or contracted labor employees.
Following approval of the item list, commissioners discussed possible time frames and cost for the audit. The group had approved a review of department operation dating back 12 months but concerns regarding the cost of such an extensive audit were raised by Moss. The commission set a limit of $5,000 for the audit.
Kelly was given the responsibility of communicating with Yoakum, Lovell and Co. to determine how extensive an audit the $5,000 limitation would allow. Kelly will report back to the commission when he receives the information requested.
The potential cost of the audit and the possible impact it will have on the parks department budget has placed some monetary decisions on hold until a firm determination on costs is received.