After a nearly nine-month delay, the city of Santa Fe’s 2020 fiscal year audit is on the path to the State Auditor’s Office, according to an update provided to the City Council last week.

Finance Director Mary McCoy said officials held an exit interview with independent external auditors from the firm CliftonLarsonAllen on Aug. 31, more than eight months after the city was originally supposed to have submitted its audit documents.

In February, the city worked out a revamped timeline with State Auditor Brian Colón, but that deadline also was missed.

In June, the city voiced a need to push the submittal date back to Aug. 31.

According to McCoy, the city submitted its trial balances to CliftonLarsonAllen in March, but the audit process was slowed down by a number of factors, including the pandemic, a shortage of staffing in the Finance Department, difficulties accounting for federal CARES Act funding and new accounting technology.

“These have been some major challenges that we have been working with, alongside CliftonLarsonAllen,” McCoy said.

It’s the second straight year the city has been late submitting its audit, which Colón previously said could affect federal grants and funding for entities like the Buckman Direct Diversion and the Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Authority.

The city was six months late submitting its 2019 fiscal year audit to the State Auditor’s Office and was late or failed to respond to several requests made by the state auditor.

An issue with timeliness was among 21 deficiencies noted by CliftonLarsonAllen, which also handled the 2019 fiscal year audit.

Those issues followed the release of the 2017 McHard Report, which outlined a number of deficiencies within the city’s Finance Department under a previous administration.

McCoy said after the State Auditor’s Office approves CliftonLarsonAllen’s audit report, the firm will provide a summary presentation to the city’s Finance Committee.

The presentation could happen as early as Sept. 20.

(7) comments

Mike Johnson

Amusing, if it weren't so serious. My wife is the former City Controller and Director of Finance and Administration for the City of Houston, Texas. She cannot believe such incompetence and arrogance is possible in any city, and that the state auditor just ignores it and does nothing. This is NMTrue.

Carmela Baca

Every day the same people are commenting, or to be more accurate, criticize, whine and complain. Stop already. Anyone can do that! Roll up your sleeves and be a solution, provide positive feedback and look for ways to improve your situation so that you can improve situations outside your personal space. Volunteer, start a non profit, contribute to society in meaningful ways. Change your world. It's not all about looking in the rear view mirror and only see how bad things are. It's about looking forward.. to the future, to better things. Be an example; set an example. Pointing fingers and complaining constantly changes nothing. It only shows how bitter and angry you are inside. Step outside your comfort zone. Call a school counselor and see how you can help a homeless child. Mow your elderly neighbors yard. Do something positive.

Dennis Romero

Carmela - thanks for your input and perspective. I recently did something very positive - I registered to vote! I can tell you that I won't be voting for Mayor Alan Webber, due to the poor job he's done.

Lynn k Allen

This is the second straight year of missing the deadline. The deadline is not a new requirement and properly run entities prepare for the audit as they do current business. This is not hard. This is government 101 and failing is not political, it is bad management. Credit worthiness is at stake and efficiently run programs suffer. AND were any of the other 21 deficiencies important? It would be nice to know. Although most may be minor problems, some may be major problems.

Chris Mechels

When the City is run by; "Alan's buddies", this is to be expected. Led by an incompetent, they are of course incompetent. As the old saw goes; "A students hire A students" and "B students hire C students". Alan is a B student, whose only expertise is PR and lying, which he does with a happy smile. Why, oh why, did they let Alan appoint his Chief of Staff as City Manager??? This calls the whole "new Mayor concept" into question. Time to go back to the previous "weak mayor" form, its much safer.

Andrew Lucero

There is way too much padding in your grade assessment Chris... Webber is a long way away from being a "B student"... He is a socially promoted D student at best. That's why his entire administration has been a failure.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup][thumbup]

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Santafenewmexican.com. Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.