KINDER — Inadequate segregation of duties that has plagued the town for years has been corrected, according to a recent audit.
Certified Public Accountant Royce Scimemi said the finding that has been cited repeatedly on previous audits has been corrected.
The inadequate segregation of duties finding is routine for most municipalities due to the limited number of accounting personal, but Scimemi credited work of the Town Hall office staff in eliminating the finding.
Mayor Estes LeDoux said responsibilities for accounting procedures — including collecting money, making deposits and reconciling bank statements — have been divided among staff members so that no single employee is handling all the transactions.
“Each job has been divvied up so that every one of the employees in the office has a role to play,” LeDoux said.
All accounting and financial matters are checked at least twice, he said.
“It’s all about internal control and taking the necessary steps to have a check and balance for everything that comes through,” Town Clerk Traci Fontenot said. “We don’t want the same person doing any two things in a row and we want to double check each other so that no one person has control.”
“Everybody is willing to help and do whatever it takes,” she continued. “Even though there are extra steps which have been implemented, nobody is complaining.”
Often other municipalities are limited by their staff size, Fontenot said.
“I think other towns have one person doing several jobs in a row,” she said.
The Kinder Town Hall office has four full-time and one part-time employee so duties can be divided among those personnel, Fontenot said. Employees are also cross-trained to take the place of absent employees, she said.
Employees also attend several training sessions throughout the year to receive updates on state mandates and other internal control measures, LeDoux said.
Overall, Scimemi said the audit shows the town is in good financial shape.
The town had a $1.1 million surplus with total revenues of $4.8 million exceeding its $3.6 million expenses. The previous year’s surplus was $991,192.
Net assets for the town exceeded its liabilities by $13 million.