BCPA: You call this accounting?

by:  Diane Benjamin

According to the City:

Commerce Bank is the City’s p-card vendor.  Staff is authorized to use the p-card to make purchases for City business.  The program began January 15, 2008.
Renee Gooderham
Records & Information Manager


So, at least some City employees have a City Credit Card.  I was looking at the Trial Balance for the BCPA, it lists every line item of income and expense.  I saw entries listed as expenses paid to Commerce Bank,  Around 14 pages of entries made to Commerce Bank!  That’s when I sent a note to Renee Gooderham and got the above reply.


Here’s the problem.  The total amount paid to Commerce Bank is over $100,000.  This is NOT for an entire year since the City changed Accounting Software part way through the year and just transferred the balances.  The $100,000 is allocated to numerous expense accounts, but there is no record of who supplied the BCPA with goods or services, just that payment was made to Commerce Bank.  There are entries for over $1000.  There are entries for round numbers like $150, $400, $500.  How often do you buy something for round numbers?  Why doesn’t the City have charge accounts instead of using credit cards?  How do I know employees aren’t just grabbing cash?  The Trial Balance sure wouldn’t tell me!  This page show the problem:
bcpaThis is not accounting.  It’s either extreme laziness or outright fraud.  The trial balance should reflect the supplier or Commerce Bank and the supplier.  Does it make any sense that $26.19 was charged to advertising?  What kind of adverting do you get for $26.19 or $11.79 or $2.35?  How about for $275.00?


The question now is are the rest of the City’s books kept this way?


Looks like I need another FOIA request for the Commerce Bank statements.


2 thoughts on “BCPA: You call this accounting?

  1. Great Work. This is a government credit card and the citizens have a right to know want is going on with their(the citizens’) money.

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