by: Diane Benjamin
The policy of the City of Bloomington has long been to subsidize many activities. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but citizens should be aware of what they are subsidizing. I’ve done a lot of these summaries so you are aware. If I ever finish them all, I will do a recap. Meanwhile, all the reports to date are on this site.
I have the City of Bloomington Trial Balance for Fiscal Year 2012. A Trial Balance is a listing of all transactions that occurred. It is 1343 pages, but that is only 4 months of detail because the accounting program was changed 8 months into the fiscal year.
As a CPA I see many problems with the reporting, the biggest one being P-card charges entered everywhere as Commerce Bank (the card holder) instead of who actually got paid. How can costs be controlled if you have no idea who was paid? Keep in mind that these are called Audited Financial Statements. Audited does not mean audited as you would expect. They are audited for presentation, not content.
It’s also troubling that so many employees have P-cards. If the City was run like a business, a Purchase Order would be completed with details of the purchase and then the vendor would bill the City with the Purchase Order Number referenced. Corporations would never allow so many employees to charge items. Also troubling is listings for Credit Card Fees all over the statements. P-Card charges are automatically taken out of the City’s Commerce Bank Account every month, so how they are incurred is a mystery.
Here’s an example of Commerce Bank entered instead of who was paid. This is the listing for 4 months in Parks and Rec under Purchased Services, imagine what the other 8 months look like:
So, how did Parks and Rec do over-all: