Present & new accounting firms court Burlington
By Jeanie Mayer For The Courier-News January 23, 2013 11:56AM
Updated: February 25, 2013 12:37PM
BURLINGTON — The village received a favorable audit report this week, but the village board is still looking at hiring a new accounting firm in light of past problems with bill payments and other accounting issues.
The village received a “clean, unqualified opinion” on the annual audit, according to CPA Jamie Wilkey of the accounting firm Lauterbach & Amen on Tuesday night.
Wilkey said the village’s financial statements were “free from errors” through April 30, 2012, which is the end of the village’s fiscal year.
The auditor recommended the village implement a fund balance policy to establish minimum reserves and to upgrade to accounting software that prevents funds from being out of balance.
Following the auditor’s report, the board heard a presentation by Debbie Crabtree and Brian LeFevre from Sikich Accounting. The firm was invited by Village President Kathy Loos to make a pitch for the village’s accounting business.
LeFevre said Sikich would serve as the village’s finance department, handle accounts payable, prepare warrant lists and payroll, perform monthly balance reconciliations and would document procedures in the event the village wanted to handle some tasks internally.
“We will provide monthly financial statements as needed and will be in attendance at meetings as the village requests,” LeFevre said.
LeFevre said the cost for the services would depend on the time spent by firm representatives on village work.
The village’s current accounting firm, Matt Kruger and Associates, was on hand during the presentation.
Kruger reminded the board of the clean unqualified audit it received under his company’s watch and stressed his firm’s commitment to the village and willingness to remain what he called a cost-effective alternative to the higher-priced Sikich firm.
Loos asked Kruger to identify ways he would maintain quality control in light of what she said were oversights made by the firm and the former village treasurer in the past.
“What are you going to do to ensure the quality we deserve is met?” Loos asked.
Kruger said he will continue to oversee work done for the village.
“I can personally be at more meetings. By my being here, I can ensure that things are done,” Kruger said.
Kruger said he would be willing to pay for government-specific accounting training for his employee, Sally Eickhorst, who has taken over as the village’s treasurer. He is slated to present a plan to the board at the Feb. 4 meeting.
The board will decide between the two firms after all the information is received.
In other business, the board is nearing an agreement with Serosun developers on impact fees and work to be done on a private road in the development off Berner Road.
The negotiations have been stalled for over a year on the subdivision plan for 114 high-end homes with an equestrian center and an organic farming component.
The homes will use geothermal technologies and be built with state-of-the-art, environmentally green products. The subdivision is in an unincorporated area between the villages of Burlington and Hampshire. Hampshire green-lighted the project two years ago.
Serosun has agreed to pay Burlington $111,250 in impact fees, with about $40,000 of that to be paid prior to the board’s approval of the final plat.