Santa Fe submits audit nine months after original deadline

·2 min read

Sep. 14—After a nearly nine-month delay, the city of Santa Fe's 2020 fiscal year audit is on the path to the State Auditor's Office, according to an update provided to the City Council last week.

Finance Director Mary McCoy said officials held an exit interview with independent external auditors from the firm CliftonLarsonAllen on Aug. 31, more than eight months after the city was originally supposed to have submitted its audit documents.

In February, the city worked out a revamped timeline with State Auditor Brian Colón, but that deadline also was missed.

In June, the city voiced a need to push the submittal date back to Aug. 31.

According to McCoy, the city submitted its trial balances to CliftonLarsonAllen in March, but the audit process was slowed down by a number of factors, including the pandemic, a shortage of staffing in the Finance Department, difficulties accounting for federal CARES Act funding and new accounting technology.

"These have been some major challenges that we have been working with, alongside CliftonLarsonAllen," McCoy said.

It's the second straight year the city has been late submitting its audit, which Colón previously said could affect federal grants and funding for entities like the Buckman Direct Diversion and the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Authority.

The city was six months late submitting its 2019 fiscal year audit to the State Auditor's Office and was late or failed to respond to several requests made by the state auditor.

An issue with timeliness was among 21 deficiencies noted by CliftonLarsonAllen, which also handled the 2019 fiscal year audit.

Those issues followed the release of the 2017 McHard Report, which outlined a number of deficiencies within the city's Finance Department under a previous administration.

McCoy said after the State Auditor's Office approves CliftonLarsonAllen's audit report, the firm will provide a summary presentation to the city's Finance Committee.

The presentation could happen as early as Sept. 20.

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