The Woodward News

March 7, 2013

Fort Supply’s finances improving

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — FORT SUPPLY -- The Town of Fort Supply continues to see improvement as it sorts out its finances.

In the town board's monthly meeting Tuesday night, town accountant Meredith Meacham-Wilson presented the trustees with an Agreed Upon Practices (AUP) financial review for Fiscal Year 2011-2012.  An AUP review is smaller in scope than a traditional full municipal audit and only reviews a handful of accounting procedures.

Meacham-Wilson said the financial review was mostly positive, especially when compared to the AUP for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 which she previously presented to the board at their Feb. 5 meeting.

"Overall, it's night and day from where you were in 10-11," she said addressing the trustees.

The FY11 AUP found several instances of noncompliance, particularly issues with the commingling of funds between the town's 2 accounts, one being the general fund for general town operations and a second for the Public Works Authority (PWA) to be used for the operations of the town's utilities.   One problem specifically identified in the FY11 AUP was that utility payments were being placed in the general fund instead of the PWA fund where the money had been earned.

However, Meacham-Wilson said that after she was hired by the town board in March 2012 she has worked with town staff to sort out those sort of issues and make sure that payments and receipts were recorded to the correct accounts.

But while improvements were made to avoid commingling of funds, Meacham-Wilson said there was one area that got worse as far as a new finding of noncompliance for the town in the FY12 AUP.

"There was one finding for the general fund for 11-12 and it was for your budget," she said.  "You all blew your budget.  We just didn't do a good job monitoring what you spent."

She said that while the budget for FY12 was $211,519, the town "spent over $53,000 more than that based on all purchase orders written for the year."

But the accountant said there was some good news.

First, that going over budget was the only finding of noncompliance in the FY12 AUP, and second, that aware of the issue, the town has already taken steps to insure it won't be found noncompliant again, Meacham-Wilson said.

"That's not going to be an issue any more because you're seeing the monthly financials now," she said referring to the financial update she provides to the town trustees each month to keep them aware of the cash balances in the town's accounts as well as what money has been spent through a listing of checks written from those accounts.

In fact, in addition to providing the board with the FY12 AUP review on Tuesday, Meacham-Wilson also gave her monthly presentation on monthly expenses as of the end of February.

"As of Feb. 28, your total cash is almost $60,000, at $59,682," she said, noting "that's up from last month."

However, she said that balance would drop since a payroll payment had been made and several additional checks had been cut to pay bills since the balance was calculated Feb. 28.

But Meacham-Wilson said that is still a positive because the town has been able to keep up with current payments as well as continue to make progress in paying past due bills. In looking at overdue vendor payments, she said, "We're down to a little over $38,000 that we owe."

"It's not as a dramatic change as we saw last month, but we're in good shape," she said.  "We're in impressive shape from where we were just 6 months ago."