City council gives auditor one week to locate finding
By Chad Koenen
A discrepancy identified in the City of Henning 2020 year end audit will be getting a closer look.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, the Henning City Council approved hiring Carlson SV to look into the discrepancy.
According to the most recent city audit, the main bank account reconciliation for cash and cash equivalents did not agree with the book cash and cash equivalents by approximately $31,000. The council gave city clerk/treasurer Kim Schroeder until the September city council meeting to determine why this error occurred. However, in October the cause for the discrepancy was still not determined.
In order to look into the error, Henning mayor Darren Wiese said the city had three options, including hiring Carlson SV to look into the error, hiring an independent company to look into the error, or just let the error go and not investigate it further.
Schroeder said when the current auditors at Carlson SV came to the city in 2017 and 2018, several adjustments were made to the city’s books. She said the previous city auditor had different books and numbers than the city’s and did not provide journal entries to make the city’s books match what he had at the time.
“What I don’t like about this is the public thinks there is money missing.”Henning City Clerk/Treasurer Kim Schroeder
Schroeder went on to say that when people think about an error they assume it was done by an employee and not necessarily an auditor.
Wiese said the city paid Carlson SV an additional $10,000 in 2017 for additional work that needed to be completed as a result of the discrepancies. He said right now the council needs to look into what caused the $31,000 error and why it occurred, as opposed to just letting it go without further investigation.
“Right now this is still an error, nobody is doing anything except they won’t sign off on it and somebody needs to sign off on this thing (and say) that this is what happened,” he said. “We can’t just as a city go well it could have happened. And that is what (the current auditor) is saying, it could have happened.”
According to Wiese, Dean Birkeland of Carlson SV said he was confident he could find where the error, or the cause for the discrepancy, but would need to have time to look into the issue. Wiese said the advantage of having Carlson SV look into the issue was they were already familiar with the city’s finances and felt they could find the error.
Council member Scott Hart said the council needs to look into the issue further, whether that be Carlson SV or another company.
“I think we owe it to the people of Henning. Lets find it,” he said.
Council member Jim Haberer asked if there was an estimate in conducting the additional work. He suggested giving Carlson SV a week to locate the $31,000 error.