- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (AP) - St. Francisville’s finance department lacks effective policies to provide proper internal control of the town’s finances, according to an audit released by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office that otherwise painted a strong financial picture.

Mayor William “Billy” D’Aquilla told The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1xImuGE) he’s heard similar critiques from auditors in the past.

“We always run into that; any small town will run into that,” D’Aquilla said. “We don’t have a problem.”

D’Aquila said the small size of the finance staff makes it difficult to segregate duties, but possible solutions are under consideration.

The audit of the town’s finances from Sept. 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2013 was performed by the firm Postlethwaite & Netterville.

It found the town needs to improve documentation of internal financial controls because town accountants cannot review expense invoices before approval by the mayor or the Board of Aldermen.

The audit said adjustments must be made to the utility software because the utility clerk is allowed to make adjustments to accounts without customer approval.

The audit also found the town violated state law by not posting notice of the sale of public property 15 days before the sale date and did not amend the budget when actual expenses exceeded budgeted expenses by more than 5 percent.

The rest of the audit showed a slight improvement in the value of town-owned assets, a small surplus from the fiscal year and that operating revenue eclipsed operating expenses.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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