Casco set to brainstorm on improving auditing process

by Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer

CASCO — One elected official would like to see a brainstorming session on how Casco Town employees can achieve more segregation when it comes to who signs checks, who deposits money in the bank, and who receives money at the front window.

During a recent Casco Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Ray Grant said he would like to see how the town could remedy one of its short-fallings listed in the Annual Audit report.

The audit report, which was done by Purdy Powers & Company, covers the 2009–10 budget. A certified public accountant with the company, James D. Tatham, gave his presentation to the board earlier this spring.

During June’s workshop and regular meeting, the board discussed the audit and how the town could make improvements.

Casco — like so many rural towns — rated low in segregating the employees whose jobs involve handling money. Typically, small staff numbers and employees with multiple duties contribute to this problem.

Grant suggested the town office staff come up with ideas to create a greater separation of duties. He asked if it was possible to put up a partition.

Town Manager Dave Morton said the size and layout of the town offices make it difficult to accomplish the task of sufficiently buffering the person who accepts fees at the front window from the employee who deposits checks and cash in the town’s bank account. Even if a partition kept them from seeing one another’s work, staff members could easily overhear conversations that pertained to money.

Another challenge is that workers are cross-trained in order to fill in during vacation and sick days, Morton said. Morton said it was important for the board “to address the areas identified as needing improvement” in the town’s annual audit. The audit is available to Casco residents in a few different forms, he said.

“We post the audit in Annual Town Report. It’s part of the town report so it’s always included there,” Morton said. “The audit report has been posted on town website. So, anyone with a computer can read it.”

In related business, the board plans to advertise for the town’s auditing contract.

This upcoming Tuesday, the board will review draft proposals for the bidding process to select auditing services.

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