The report will be presented to the board at its Aug. 16 meeting, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Chairman Mike Babb said Thursday.
“It’s done, we didn’t lose any money and the 2012 audit will be complete in September, when it’s due,” he said Thursday.
The Rome-based agency was hit with what Babb called “a perfect storm” during the 2011 fiscal year — from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.
Two regional commissions merged, with two different antiquated accounting software programs, and one of those programs went bad. The chief financial officer also resigned with two weeks’ notice.
Executive Director Bill Steiner said figures had to be reconstructed by hand, by outside experts, and the accounting department went though “a skills-upgrade.”
Morale sank, there were resignations, and the Georgia Department of Labor is now looking into an age-discrimination complaint. Steiner said the complaint is unfounded, but there’s also been the threat of a lawsuit. The board will get a briefing on that during a closed session.
Meanwhile, consultant Joanne Thurston has set up a new accounting system that addresses negative findings in the last two audits. A Rome native who now lives in Marietta, she’s been serving as acting CFO during the revamp but will relinquish the post when a new financial director is hired.
“Sometimes when you make corrective actions there are disgruntled people, especially when they’ve been here a long time,” Thurston said. “But I’m not making changes to make changes. Certain basic accounting principles have to be put in place.”
The NWGRC received a 2011 audit deadline extension through Monday, and met it. Babb said he hopes the Aug. 16 presentation will reassure the 50 board members, each of whom represents a city or county in the region.
“Joanne is here to set up a system that protects taxpayer money,” he said. “A lot of good things flow through here — Meals on Wheels, Workforce Investment Act programs — but we’re not doing the Lord’s work with donated money. We’re taking tax money, and our responsibility is to keep up with it.”
The NWGRC board meets the third Thursday of most months, at 10 a.m. in the Calhoun Convention Center, 100 Peters St. in Calhoun. The meetings are open to the public.