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Auditors still unable to produce analysis of Jeanerette finances

Posted at 1:34 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-25 14:34:55-05

An accounting firm hired by Jeanerette hasn’t been able to produce a proper audit of the city’s finances, meaning there hasn’t been a complete audit done since 2014.

However, those auditors were able to find numerous issues with the way the city’s finances have been handled. If you want to read the full report, scroll down.

The state took over city operations in 2018 and a fiscal administrator was appointed to oversee an attempt to straighten things out.

In a report released today, a Lafayette CPA firm stated that they weren’t able to issue an opinion about the city’s finances because records were either missing or inadequate.

“The supporting documentation of the City was not in existence or in an appropriate manner that we were unable to satisfy ourselves by other auditing procedures concerning the financial statements of the governmental activities, business-type activities, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information as of and
for the year ended June 30,2017,” the report states. “As a result of this matter, we were unable to determine whether any adjustments might have been found necessary in respect of recorded or unrecorded cash, receivables, payables, and the elements making up the respective changes in financial position, and, where applicable, cash flows.”

The Legislative Auditor has conducted two investigative audits in Jeanerette, the most recent being in October 2018. In that report, auditors found that utility payments weren’t deposited into the city’s bank account; that the city didn’t pay more than $180,000 in state and federal payroll taxes; and that the city failed to pay police for witness fees.

The other investigative audit, which was released in May 2017, found a failure to manage oversight of water meter readings,  a failure to properly manage customer utility accounts, a failure to reconcile customer meter deposits, and a failure to monitor the utility system’s financial stability.

The Legislative Auditor also performed a compliance report for the city in 2014.

In some cases, violations listed in these three audits have not been resolved, today’s report states.

The fiscal administrator for the city provided responses to the findings. He told auditors that an outside CPA firm now provides accounting services, including reconciling accounts. A new clerk and treasurer also have been hired “who have the education, qualifications and experience to perform their duties effectively,” the administrator wrote.

Other issues are being addressed, he wrote.

Here’s the full report: