Northwest NEWS

January 8,2001

Front Page

Error in Carnation's books noted by auditor

by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor
   CARNATION - The state Auditor's Office has reported a budget flaw in the city's 1999 books because of one transaction that was misrecorded, according to Richard Gould, the city's finance director.
   "The city purchased property, but the revenue was equal so it did not affect the city," he said. "The transaction was in December, but misrecorded in our system and by the time we found it in January, it was too late to fix it, due to the year's end."
   The property the city purchased was land with a house on it that may possibly be used in the future for the proposed sewage treatment plant, he said.
   Gould said he brought the problem to the auditor's attention but the auditor had no choice but to note the error in his findings.
   The software the city was using was partly to blame, Gould said, but "it didn't hurt anything and nobody is complaining about it."
   He said the city has just begun phasing out the old software which required a lot of manual work.
   "We could never get the old software to reconcile any numbers," he said.
   He explained it has been a struggle to recover from the mess that the city's finances were in when he arrived in early 1998. During that time Carnation was trying to recover from a change in leadership and had gone through several different finance managers.
   Gould praised his staff for overcoming all the problems.
   "It's taken a lot of good work by the staff and I am proud of them," he said. "I regret the finding but it shouldn't reflect on the staff."