CLARKSBURG -- The town's accounting procedures continue to spark debate among town officials.
Finance Committee members expressed their frustration Wednes day night at their meeting over what they perceive to be a lack of action.
"It's no less frustrating tonight than it's been for the last three or four months," Chairman Mark Denault said.
The town saw issues during the last budget cycle, when the Finance Com mittee found numerous errors in the town's accounts.
The town also had its annual town meeting delayed until June while the state Department of Revenue (DOR) certified the town's free cash, funds that were leftover from the previous fiscal year.
Both a Financial Management Review by the DOR's Division of Local Services and an audit performed for fiscal year 2010 made a number of recommendations for the town's record keeping.
On Wednesday, Finance Com mittee members noted that many of these recommendations have not been implemented, including additional training on accounting software for Accountant Christa Marsh and Treasurer/Tax Collector Melissa McGovern, which Town Meeting appropriated $2,000 for in June.
"It worries me that since August, we've sat on procedures and practices," Denault said.
Members also questioned why an audit of fiscal year 2013 had yet to be completed by Scanlon & Associates.
On Thursday, Town Administrator Tom Webb responded to the Finance Committee's concerns.
"It took 30 years to get this way, and it's not going to take two months to undo it," he said.
Webb said he would prefer to hear from the auditors' expert opinion on best practices before making too many changes in Town Hall.
"I want to know what the auditor has to say and what he thinks we should concentrate on changing," Webb said. "I don't want to make changes, then have the auditor come here and say, ‘that's probably not what you should do.' I only want to change things once."
Webb said similar reasoning is behind waiting to run software training.
"If there's a particular area of the software they should be trained on, then that's what we want them to do," he explained.
Much discussion was spent Wednesday night on the timeline of the audit. Finance Committee members expressed concern over the time of a meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Town Hall, between Selectmen, Webb and the auditors. The meeting is being held on a day that neither Marsh and McGovern normally work.
"It's not our ideal schedule," Webb said, adding it's the only day the auditor can meet. "But it'll get done, and it'll get done right."
The meeting was originally scheduled for this past Tuesday, Webb said, and scheduling conflicts forced the move.
"We're anticipating a much better situation this year," Webb said. "Our goal really is having a good starting number for [fiscal year 2013] and that everything reconciles properly moving forward."
To reach Edward Damon,