St. Francisville receives strong financial audit

The St. Francisville finance department lacks proper policies to provide proper internal control of the town’s finances, according to an audit released Monday by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office that otherwise painted a strong financial picture of the small town.

Mayor William “Billy” D’Aquilla characterized the audit as “great” and said the critique from the auditors is something he’s been told in the past.

He said the small size of the finance department makes it hard to segregate all the duties, but said they have tried coming up with solutions to address the issue.

“We always run into that; any small town will run into that,” D’Aquilla said. “We don’t have a problem.”

The audit of the town’s finances from Sept. 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2013, performed by Postlethwaite & Netterville, found the town needs to improve its documentation of its internal financial control because its system does not allow town accountants to review expense invoices before approval by the mayor and/or Board of Aldermen.

Adjustments need to be made to the utility software because the utility clerk is allowed to make adjustments to accounts without customer approval, the audit says.

The audit also found the town violated state law by not posting notice of a sale of public property 15 days prior to the sale and did not amend the budget when actual expenses eclipsed budgeted expenses by more than five percent.

The rest of the audit showed a slight improvement in the value of the assets the town holds, a small surplus from the fiscal year and that operating revenue for the town eclipsed operating expenses.