Montcalm Township OKs plan to correct audit flaws

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 1:37 pm on Thursday, March 29, 2012

GREENVILLE — The Montcalm Township Board is submitting a corrective action plan to the Michigan Department of Treasury regarding an audit the township received last October.

The Montcalm Township Board approved a Department of Treasury corrective action plan and resolution and approved sending it to the Department of Treasury at a special meeting Wednesday night.

“I hope this puts (the problems) to rest finally,” said Supervisor Michael Adams.

The internal control review identified four areas where the township’s internal controls were either insufficient or noncompliant with the state statute, Adams said. The first finding concluded that Montcalm Township did not distribute taxes collected in accordance with the general property tax act.

Adams said steps have been taken to better the communication and flow of information between the clerk’s and treasurer’s offices. Also, software has been updated, cross training has been provided and a clearer understanding of the information among the offices has occurred.

As a result of the first action, Montcalm Township now has all tax disbursements being made in accordance with the state statute, Adams said.

“The tax account has been able to be verified and reconciled to a zero balance every day of the winter 2011-2012 tax collection period,” he said.

The audit also found adopted budgets were not balanced and did not contain beginning or ending balances. Action taken by the township included learning the governmental budgeting manual, consulting with other townships and providing a budget that is easier to understand and compares previous years and projected futures.

“The fiscal information of the township is much more transparent to the residents (and improves) the lines of communication between the board and the public,” Adams said.

A third issue — review of investment and banking policy — was addressed by the board by preparing resolutions supporting separating the investment policy and the designation of depositories.

“The township will have a clearer understanding of its purpose and intent when making decisions affecting township investments,” Adams said.

The final issue addressed in the correction plan was to follow up from annual audits on the cemetery perpetual care funds. The board has developed separate account for the deposits of perpetual care funds as they are collected from cemetery lot sales.

“All funds that were to be designated as perpetual care monies have now been identified and moved to the new special account where they will accumulate until which time that there is a sufficient balance to move them to an investment account in accordance with our investment policy,” Adams said.

The deadline for submitting the plan to the Department of Treasury is April 9.

Ron Trachet, chairman of the Montcalm Township Fire Department board, thanked the board for all the hard work they put into not only the action plan, but also developing a budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

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