CLARKSBURG -- The town is seeking assistance from an accounting firm's report in addressing its record-keeping issues.
"Hopefully with the information that we have now, we can move forward and get things squared away," Town Administrator Tom Webb said Monday.
The town saw issues during the last budget cycle, when the Finance Committee found numerous errors in the town's accounts.
The town also had its annual town meeting delayed several weeks while the state Department of Revenue (DOR) certified the town's free cash.
The town had contracted the accounting firm Scanlon & Associates of South Deerfield to conduct agreed upon procedures for fiscal year 2012 and to recommend policies the town can put in place.
Thomas Scanlon and Jeffrey Gendron of Scanlon & Associates presented the findings to the full Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee at a meeting Thursday, Webb said.
"There weren't many surprises," he said. "We knew that we had some things that we had to have squared away."
A draft document presented to officials Thursday states that representatives could not find that the treasurer maintained a proper cashbook for fiscal year 2012. In addition, the town's receipts weren't reconciled between Treasurer/Collector Melissa McGovern's cash book and accountant Christa Marsh's general ledger.
The report states that this situation "significantly increases the risk that misstatement due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected, prohibits the safeguarding of assets and does not provide for accurate and timely financial reporting."
The town had previously reported a variance of $39,233 between the town accountant's general ledger and treasurer records. The results of the procedures resulted in a larger variance of $53,522, because the year-end cutoff procedures were not performed by the town.
The firm recommended that the treasurer's cash and investments to the accountant's ledger be reconciled on a monthly basis.
In addition, the firm recommends that the treasurer maintain a proper cashbook with dates and amounts of all receipts, deposits and warrants.
To prevent further errors, Webb said both the treasurer/collector and accountant will receive further training in the accounting software, SoftRight.
Remote training in the software has always been available through the package the town purchased, Webb said, but the town will be having on-site training for both employees in the near future.
Residents previously appropriated $1,400 for additional training at June's annual town meeting.
"We're setting it up right now," he said. "We're looking tentatively to the 16th or 17th for the on-site training."
To reach Edward Damon,