On November 20, 2015

One set of financial records used to create two reports for Killington

Dear Editor,

I have tried in earnest to answer Jim Haff’s questions regarding several topics regarding the town of Killington’s financial reports such as the town report and the annual audit. I wrote those answers under the assumption Mr. Haff understood certain basic financial concepts. I guess one should never assume anything.

Mr. Haff seems to suggest the town is running two separate sets of books or numbers as if there is some nefarious plot occurring. The reality is there are differ reports generated from the same set of financial records (or books, if you will). One is used to help the voters understand and approve a budget (the town report) and the other is used to confirm the accuracy of our financial records and confirm our financial health beyond just the cash flow (the audit).

I honestly can’t understand why Mr. Haff, who claimed all last year that he is “good with numbers,” would suggest we should not have both reports: “there truly is only one answer: the town should not have two sets of reports, or records or books for its financials.” That would appear to mean that the voters would have to approve a budget, with only annual audit report, which lacks details many would consider vital. Or conversely the town shouldn’t have an audit to confirm to the residents that it is proceeding properly (the audit is useful in determining overall financial health and revealing if there are any inconsistencies that might indicate poor record keeping or even fraud). If, however, Mr. Haff intended to mean that the audit report should be included as an addendum to the town report, then I will simply say yet again, if the audit is not finalized by the time the town report goes to print it, cannot possibly be included.

The good news is, by town meeting March 2017 that will actually be possible, the fiscal year will end on June 30, 2016, so the audit will be ready when the town report does go to print. I would be concerned however at the cost of printing the town report with the audit included as it would double the size of the booklet (and thus printing cost) and most people interested in the audit could easily retrieve it as an e-document from the town website.

As always, you can reach me at email at pjm22@icloud.com

This letter is based on my impressions of the matters before the town and are not approved of, nor been reviewed by the full board.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Patty McGrath, Killington Selectboard Chair

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