City of Springfield News Releases (General)

Posted on: April 17, 2015

Firm issues audit findings for City’s purchasing card program

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A certified accounting firm selected to perform the City of Springfield’s internal audit functions, has completed its first audit: a look at the City’s purchasing card (P-card) program.

RubinBrown, Certified Accountants and & Business Consultants, was selected last fall to perform 3-4 departmental and other process-related audits this fiscal year. Members of the firm identified risks based on input from management and the Finance and Administration committee.

Auditors reviewed the purchasing card program and associated internal controls, identifying and evaluating existing P-card policies and practices and examined transaction between Jan. 1, 2013 and Oct. 17, 2014.

“During the course of this review, we did not note any fraudulent activity. However, as stated in the cover letter at the beginning of this report, tests completed did not include a detailed audit of transactions that would be required to discover all fraud, defalcations and other irregularities,” auditors wrote in an executive summary.

They noted a series of best practices already in place and made observations and recommendations on how to improve processes.

Recommendations broadly characterized included:

• Establishing approval limits or approval hierarchy based on the dollar value of the P-card charges.
• Developing a formal process by which to notify the P-card administrator upon termination of an employee.
• Additional training for P-card expense approvers

City management issued responses detailing that recommended process improvements will be in place by June 30, 2015.

In addition, auditors recommended a series of suggested process improvement opportunities, based on best practices, including:

• Requiring P-card expenses and supporting documentation to be submitted, approved and retained electronically and eliminating the manual approval process for some departments. The City will continue to explore this option, however, there are many issues to resolve before moving to a full electronic process. The current manual process, while cumbersome, does provide a secondary review of the approver’s authorization.

• Require periodic refresher training for cardholders and P-card transaction approvers. The City does require cardholders to take refresher training for purchasing violations and/or concerns.

Rubin-Brown will continue to complete a series of internal audits, based on a three-year plan submitted to the Finance & Administration Committee. Those audits include:

• Cash Collections and Application
• System Access Review
• Payroll
• Cash Disbursements

As has been done in this case and in the past, audit results will be announced publicly, with reports posted on springfieldmo.gov.

Previously, the City employed a full-time internal auditor. Rubin-Brown is being paid for with the funds saved by not refilling the full-time position.

“Internal audits provide important information to the City’s leadership team, as well as accountability to the taxpayers,” said Jerry Compton, Chair of the City Council Finance & Administration Committee.

# # #

For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352.

Purchasing Card Audit Report
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