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Conway Presents Audit, Responds to Controversy

Conway Company CPAs

COMMERCE - In his presentation of the Commerce financial audit for 2011, Conway Company CPA Partner Michael Conway took time Tuesday to address recent reports of the city’s dissatisfaction with the firm.

Commerce City Manager Marc Clayton, in a memo to council in July, had cited “problems with the current audit firm over several issues,” including a delay in the issuance of the audit, which is normally provided in February but wasn’t received until July 12. In a May 23 article by Business Wire, Fitch said the audit delay was a contributing factor in their downgrade of the city’s bond rating from ‘A-‘ to a ‘BBB.’

“We take issue with that. We do too many reports, too many audits to accept that,” Conway said Tuesday. “An audit is a partnership between the city and the audit firm. It just takes both sides hitting those deadlines with good data at appropriate times in order to get these things done.”

Conway went into further detail in this document provided to council and obtained by KETR, which states that during the course of the Commerce audit “there were multiple delays in the delivery of information which directly impacted the ultimate delivery of the audit.” The document also notes that the firm will issue 75 discrete audit reports in 2012, and includes information about staff size, and the amount of cities and counties that they audit.

Conway added, “We’ve just got too much invested and too much here, and we’re too good a firm to have something negative like that effect us.”

We reached out to City Manager Clayton for a response to Mr. Conway’s remarks. He declined comment.

In July, the city hired new audit firm Scott Singleton Fincher & Co. PC CPAs out of Greenville, meaning Tuesday’s audit presentation by Conway was the last under the current contract, which expires September 30.

As for the audit itself, Conway Company CPAs offered a clean opinion and a “definite improvement from 2010,” according to Michael Conway.

You can view the full audit here.

The city showed an improvement in net assets from $13,163,050 in 2010 to $13,912,436 in 2011. This resulted from a number of factors, including an increase in revenue and reduction in many expenses, leading to a surplus of $749,000. These items are found on pages 9 and 10.

Mr. Conway also briefly pointed out the city’s capital assets and general obligation debt on page 14, and mentioned how sales and property tax collections were up from the previous year.

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