The Callaway County Commission will conduct business of a general nature.
1:00pm Accounts Payable Issues
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
The Callaway County Commission met with the Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann, Eastern District Commissioner Randy Kleindienst, and Western District Commissioner Donald Kritzer present.
Accounts Payable Issues
The Callaway County Commission met with Denise Hubbard, County Clerk, and Karen Rentschler, County Auditor, to discuss Accounts Payable issues. Deborah Goldman was also present for this meeting.
Commissioner Kritzer began by explaining that this meeting is a follow-up to a meeting between the group in March regarding problems with Accounts Payable. Mrs. Hubbard stated that she believes that Accounts Payable has been running smoother since the last meeting. She also stated that her office has been making changes in order to improve Accounts Payable. For example, the Clerk’s office has implemented a new procedure for credit card statements. Each month, Mrs. Hubbard sends out an email to everyone who has missing credit card receipts and gives a deadline for submitting them to the Clerk’s office. This procedure seems to have improved the process of getting missing receipts in a timely fashion. Mrs. Hubbard then said that the outside auditors suggested that each invoice be signed off on by the appropriate department before it is paid; therefore, her office is working to ensure each invoice is signed.
Mrs. Rentschler added that she believes the group should clarify who has authorization to sign off on invoices. Commissioner Jungermann said that in most cases, the elected official/department head or the chief deputy are ones with authorization to approve an invoice. After some discussion, the group decided that this will be a topic of discussion at the next Quarterly Budget Review meeting with all elected officials and department heads.
The discussion then turned back toward problems with Accounts Payable. Commissioner Jungermann stated that he knows there are still problems every week with the run of bills. It is still taking the Auditor’s office several hours to get through and make changes to the run of bills. Commissioner Kleindienst said that he has observed the auditing process several times since the previous meeting on this issue and has found that the same errors are occurring every week. Mrs. Rentschler added that common errors include incorrect totals, incorrect vendors, missing signatures, and duplicate entries. The group then discussed at length how these problems might occur and the importance of preventing them.
Mrs. Rentschler stated that her concern with these ongoing issues is that the County Auditor is ultimately responsible for the County’s financials. Commissioner Kleindienst stated that elected
officials need to ensure that everything that comes out of their respective offices are the best that they can possibly be. He then asked Mrs. Hubbard if she believes Accounts Payable leaves her office each week in an acceptable way; she responded that she believes it does. Mrs. Hubbard was then asked if she looks over the run of bills before it goes to the Auditor’s office for approval; she responded that she typically does not review it first.
The group then discussed an issue that arose last week with a manual check. The employees of the Clerk’s office were out of the office for a conference three days last week. Beforehand, the Auditor’s office requested some blank checks from the Clerk’s office in case of an emergency, but the Clerk declined to give out any checks. While the Clerk employees were gone, an issue arose that required a manual check. The Commission and the Auditor decided to get a check from the Clerk’s office to take care of the emergency issue. The group briefly discussed this issue. Mrs. Hubbard stated that her office is responsible for the checks and she cannot give them out to other offices. She added that this is no different from when the Commissioners or the Auditor leave for a conference and are not available to approve a run of bills. To this, Mrs. Rentschler stated that when that does occur, she leaves her signature stamp with the Commission in case of an emergency because she knows that business cannot stop just because she is out of the office. Commissioner Jungermann stated that there have been times that the Commission has come in after hours to approve a run of bills during weeks that they are out at a conference. Commissioner Kleindienst asked Mrs. Hubbard if a trust issue was the reason why she refused the Auditor’s office some emergency checks. Mrs. Hubbard responded that the reason is because the checks reside in her office and she is responsible for them. She also added that she has a letter from the Prosecuting Attorney stating that the checks belong in the Clerk’s office per State statute. The Auditor and the Commission requested a copy of that letter because they were unaware that such a statute existed. Mrs. Hubbard agreed to give them a copy.
After much discussion, the group then decided to meet again for a follow-up meeting in one month. Mrs. Hubbard requested to sit through the auditing process of the run of bills this week in order to see how the Auditor’s office does it. The group agreed that this would likely be helpful to the Clerk’s office to improve Accounts Payable. Commissioner Kritzer stated that he wants to see improvement by the next meeting on this issue.
Ordered that the Commission adjourn until Wednesday, May 25, 2016.