Symphony report reveals some problems

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Lake Charles Symphony lacks the personnel to effectively control revenues and failed to properly keep a list of in-kind donations it received, according to a state Legislative Auditor’s Office report released Monday.

The review, done by Stulb & Associates, covered the year that ended May 31, 2013.

The report says certain accounting functions should be segregated to ensure cross-referencing and accuracy because “intentional and unintentional errors could be made and not detected.” Auditors said the problem could be rectified by “supervision and review procedures.”

Symphony officials responded to the findings in a letter.

“Except for daily accounting duties, such as paying bills, the treasurer now reconciles all bank and credit card statements and is responsible for the preparation and distribution of all financial reports,” Executive Director Shelly Appleby wrote.

In addition, auditors found that a “detailed record of non-cash donations” were not maintained. Appleby said the symphony has upgraded to Quickbooks Pro Online, which has a feature that will make it easy and efficient to track in-kind donations.

Auditors said the symphony failed to submit its annual financial statements to the legislative auditor within six months of the year’s end.

Appleby said that from October 2012 through February 2013 the symphony was without an executive director. She said “much time was spent in catching up on items relative to the general operations.” She said it resulted in a delay in providing the necessary information.