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City has had same auditor for a decade

Committee receives draft of audit Tuesday

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – When the Rock Falls Finance Committee received a presentation of a draft of its audit report Tuesday night, it came from the same firm it has used for the last 10 years.

CliftonLarsonAllen has been Rock Falls’ auditor since 2003, said City Administrator Robbin Blackert, when it took over for Lindgren Callihan Van Osdol & Co., the firm that did the 2002 audit.

“Auditors are only as good as the information you give them,” Blackert said prior to the meeting. “Two years ago we did a [request for proposals] for auditing firms, to see what the price is to see if it’s even worth switching.”

The city decided to retain CliftonLarsonAllen, and Blackert said she was “happy” with the work the firm has done for the city.

The Rock Falls City Council will decide, likely in January, whether to put out another request for proposals, which Blackert said they aren’t required by law to do. The city also doesn’t have to accept the lowest bid, she added.

“I think the most important part of your audit is your listening to and studying what’s given to you in the management letter,” she said. “And actually implementing those changes for oversight.”

CliftonLarsonAllen’s Todd Etheridge presented the Finance Committee with a draft of the audit, which was recommended for presentation to the City Council Nov. 5.

In the management letter presented to the Finance Committee, Etheridge said there was an inadequate segregation of duties, which means CliftonLarsonAllen recommends the city have more checks and balances regarding such duties as receiving checks, depositing cash and reconciling bank statements.

Ward 2 Alderman and Finance Committee Chairman Glen Kuhlemier said the recommendation was a result of the city not having a large staff.

“There are several audits we do every year that have that comment,” Etheridge said, later adding, “Your close supervision over the accounting transactions is very key when that situation exists.”

The firm recommended the city monitor its internal controls and segregate duties when possible and add a review function when it can’t. Blackert and Mayor Bill Wescott said the city has such review functions in place.

CliftonLarsonAllen served as Dixon’s auditor until 2005. The firm recently came to a $35.15 million out-of-court settlement in relation to former Comptroller Rita Crundwell’s theft of nearly $54 million over the past 2 decades.

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