Gainesville releases financial report, charts improvement in financial operations and reporting

Press release from City of Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The City of Gainesville’s Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report shows no new findings and reveals a plan to complete the next financial report by the June 2023 State of Florida deadline.

This represents a step toward returning to routine financial operations and reporting in the wake of problems and delays going as far back as Fiscal Year 2018. Since Fiscal Year 2018, annual reports from external auditor Purvis Gray & Company recorded findings in need of attention, the most significant relating to: 1) Bank Reconciliations and 2) Financial Close and Reporting. The Fiscal Year 2021 report repeats these findings, but City staff indicates issues are on track for full resolution. Extensive progress already has been made, including closing two other findings, Accounting for Grant Activity and Segregation of Duties. An additional one, Building Permit Revenue Reconciliation, has been resolved since July 2021 with the implementation of the City’s new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The City’s success in addressing these issues is largely due to the hiring of new leadership personnel. Gainesville Interim City Manager Cynthia W. Curry reviewed the Florida Auditor General and Internal City Auditor reports issued in January 2022 and escalated the findings as a priority. The Department of Financial Services, led by new Director Sue Wang, has filled four key positions including an accounting manager, senior accountant, internal control manager, and financial system architect. The new additions to the Department of Financial Services complement the skills of current accounting staff, and together they are prioritizing internal control, policy, and procedure and focusing on reconciliation issues.

Part of the solution involves tackling complications and delays caused by the City’s 2021 adoption of its new ERP system, used to manage functions ranging from the general ledger to payroll and human resources. The transition was lengthy and brought unexpected challenges as data was moved from the old system to the new one. The delays led to a letter from the Florida Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC), reminding the City to submit the Fiscal Year 2021 report by the December 19 extended deadline.

The financial report, approved today by the City’s Audit Committee and scheduled to be presented before the Gainesville City Commission Thursday, Dec. 15, represents a major step forward. As Interim City Manager Cynthia W. Curry states, “This is the result of getting people with sufficient governmental accounting experience in place to remedy lack of attention to core but critical functions relating to financial operations.”

At this time, Director Wang and her team are turning their attention to next year’s reporting, which they expect to submit on time with no new findings.

The Gainesville City Commission meeting begins at 10 a.m. Thursday and will be broadcast on Community 12TV and livestreamed on Facebook and on the city’s website; it will be archived online.

A list of frequently asked questions also is available.

  • I’ve got oceanfront property for sale in Kansas if you believe city leadership. You liberals – you’re so easily duped.

  • Aren’t they still working on the last one, or have they finally finished it? Their plan sounds really convincing.

  • Someone needs to step into reality and remove City Officials and Commsioners from any authority in running GRU and any financial operations. Any one ignorant enough to kill the goose that laid Gaineville a golden egg that is now insolvent should be fired and jailed. They don’t deserve a raise ,nor make any financial decisions for Gainesville. Truly sad and shameful. No wonder they censor meetings and limit access to public records. The State is watching this freakshow and will return, hopefully sooner than later.

  • Who will be the outside auditor for this ‘report of perfection’? We all know Gainesville is incapable of doing a job correctly, especially in the financial area. There are just too much smoke and mirrors in the way. I hope we won’t have to wait five years, as usual, because of political interference.

  • When you’re already at the bottom of the dung heap there’s usually not anywhere else to go but up.
    Unfortunately, Gainesville continues to prove that theory wrong.

  • Of course, this is just political sleight of hand “disclosure”. This “audit” does nothing but “correct” noted deficiencies in standard accounting principles and does NOTHING to address the irregularities found in the original state audit. The most troubling part for me is the quick handed targeted firings and the lack of real disclosure when the new interim city manager, Ms. Curry, is supposed to be as well qualified as anyone on the planet (according to her very expansive resume’) in financial accountability and general accountability rules and best practices in local government. Why didn’t she ensure that the city responded on time for the state’s audit? Why are we still having to wait for a report she (supposedly) can do blind folded? Why hasn’t the city commission really overseen this report and get it done on time? There is corruption and foul play in our city governess and the powers that be are in damage control and “plausible deniability”. Don’t expect to see Ward take action, he’s as much a part of the problem as any of them.

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