Town Manager James McKenna proposed to the Council that the town hire an auditing firm on a part-time basis to conduct internal auditing of town departments’ budgets and financial expenditures.
McKenna suggested that the Council refer the matter to the Council’s finance subcommittee so it may interview potential accounting/auditing firms.
“The [firm’s] auditing would be separate from the annual audit which is another matter entirely,” said McKenna. “This appointment would be for internal auditing services as was presented last fall as part of our consolidation report.”
Council President Peter Gill asked how many hours the position would entail.
“It would be roughly 20 hours a month and there would be an annual retainer of [approximately] $30,000 and they would basically perform the auditing functions that you see customary to every city’s auditing department in the commonwealth. Cities have city auditor offices. We have a finance office that does a lot of different things. And the auditing component has been unfortunately something that we need to upgrade to have more of an ongoing review of our financial activities.”
McKenna said the auditing firm would submit quarterly reports to the Council assuring the town that is complying with all the laws that the town and school departments need to abide by.
“We’re really introducing a whole new level of discipline throughout the organization,” said McKenna. “In any city form of government, you’ll see that there’s a city auditing function that’s a separate, stand-alone function. I’ve always advocated that we need specific attention to this issue.”