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City contracts out to clean up books


Grand Coulee is hiring an outside source to help the city reconcile its finances.

The city council approved the hiring of an outside contractor to do the “reconciliation of city financial software system to city bank accounts to assure accuracy of financial data being reported to the council and State Auditor’s office,” according to a contract for services.

Hired was Toni Nelson of Government Financial Services, at a cost to the city of $110 an hour. The estimated time period for the work is 25-30 hours, part of the time on-site and part away from the city.

Mayor Paul Townsend said that “running city government is getting more complicated as time goes by,” and “this will help our people get up to speed.”

City financial records haven’t been reconciled for several years, “maybe four years,” Townsend stated.

The State Auditor’s Office had suggested “reconciliation” several years ago. “And we just went through another audit where auditor’s asked for certain information, and we couldn’t find it,” Townsend stated.

In the city’s audit for the years 2011-13, Grand Coulee received a “finding” from the state in which auditors had stated the city did not have “adequate controls over financial operations, placing public resources at risk of loss or misappropriation.”

The city has had several computer programming problems in the past, and the council recently voted to purchase three new computers at a cost of $6,500, including setup and data transfer.

“When we get the financial reconciliation finished we should be in good shape,” Townsend stated.

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