TGB Hears Report on Audits and Budget Status
By Joe Morey
Accounting Director Sean McCabe told the LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) on Friday, Feb. 21, they are close to finishing up a budget for 2020 to present to the board. McCabe said they are just waiting on a few tribal enterprise amounts so that they can add it to the budget. He added they would have a proposed budget in about 7 to 10 days.
McCabe was originally recruited by Blue Stone Strategy Group to do an assessment of the LCO Accounting Department. As he was presenting his findings to the TGB, he told them the Tribe was so far behind, further than they thought they were, they asked him to stay on and help the Tribe get caught up.
Over the past three months McCabe has been working on audits and the budget. He said the 2018 single audit is completed and the 2018 tribal-wide audit will be complete by the end of the week.
“Once that’s complete, then we’ll focus on the 2019 audits and have them completed by June 30th of this year,” stated McCabe. “The next three months will be intense to get these audits done so we are not behind anymore.”
McCabe went on to say a budget should be passed two to three months before the start of the year. The reason we are so far behind is that we had to reconcile 10 months of stuff, he added, and had to complete 2017 audits.
“Also in this time we’ve moved our accounting software over to MIPs and this was rushed,” McCabe said. He explained a lot of the issue was the Do-To-Do-From that had to be reconciled and cleaned up. He said it was a web of money being moved around from bank to bank, or this pocket owes that pocket.
TGB member Tweed Shuman said a lot of the program budgets are too high.
“We can do better with the Tribe’s money. There’s a lot of waste,” Shuman said.
McCabe said he recommended to TGB that the Tribe have its own internal auditor just so we can have spot checks.
“It’s a good monitoring tool. We just have to figure out how we’re going to pay for it,” McCabe added.
TGB member Gary “Little Guy” Clause said he thinks an internal auditor would be a good thing that would add more oversight.
McCabe was asked if there are positions that need to be filled in the Accounting Department. He said he didn’t think that was the answer.
“The answer is improvements in the current policies and procedures that are 6 years old. We need a better process,” McCabe said. He didn’t feel right now more workers being thrown into the process would help.
“We have a great team, but we have to learn how to do the process in a smarter way,” McCabe said. “Our problems right now are just process issues.”