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Draft March 23, 2020 Auditors Meeting Minutes

Town of Braintree

Draft Auditors Meeting Minutes  –  March 23, 2020

** Meeting remotely using conference line for the Town of Braintree (802-210-4472) **


Attendees:  Tom Cooch, Lin Brown, Jessica Brassard (invited)


  1. Mr. Cooch called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.


  1. No changes were made to the agenda.


  1. The minutes of the November 1, 2019 meeting were approved.


  1. Elect Officers. Voted: to keep the current officers in place for the coming year. Mr. Cooch as Chair, and Mr. Brown as Secretary.


  1. Payroll auditing. As of January 1, 2020 the Town has contracted with Compucount, Inc. of Randolph for payroll services, necessitating a new payroll audit procedure. Mr. Brown reported initial steps in learning about the new payroll system. He will meet with the Town Administrator and Town Clerk-Treasurer for more detailed information, and prepare a new draft payroll audit procedure for review at the next auditors meeting.


  1. Review tasks needing completion for FY20

– General Fund: Summaries completed for Q1 & Q2; Mascoma bank reconciliation completed for January.

– Reserve Funds: Summaries completed for Q1 & Q2.

– Grand List (annually): Completed last Fall.

– Accounts Payable: Done through FY20-Q2. Six items were not found in the files.  Awaiting resolution from the Town Administrator.

– General Journal: Complete through FY20-Q2. There was a long list of entries for FY20-Q1 and Q2, which Mr. Cooch reviewed with the Treasurer and Admin. Asst.

– Payroll: Complete through FY20-Q2 using the NEMRC system. Research is underway on preparing a new procedure now that Compucount has been contracted for payroll services (see item 5 above).

– State Payments: Complete through FY20-Q2.  One small discrepancy noted. Awaiting resolution from Clerk-Treasurer


Jessica Brassard, Town Clerk-Treasurer, joined us for the remainder of the meeting.


  1. Review of Sullivan & Powers Report; re: gravel prepayment.

The external auditors asked about our accounting practice regarding advanced payment (or prepayment) of gravel from Tucker. The Town purchases a portion of its gravel from Tucker in the spring, when they offer a 5% discount, but does not take delivery until summer. The issue with S&P appears that the expenditure is typically in one fiscal year and receipt of the gravel is usually in the next fiscal year. Ms. Brassard will follow-up with S&P for clarification and resolution.


  1. Review formatting of the financials in the Town Report.
  2. Reserve Funds: The problem is how best to report Reserve fund balances at the end of the year, when invoices received in June are not paid until July. It is unclear to the auditors why NEMRC uses cash accounting in these cases. The auditors prefer that the accrual method be used and reported as such in the Town Report. After much discussion it was

Voted: The accrual method of accounting be used in the quarterly Reserve Fund summary reports and in the end-of-year Reserve Fund balances in the Town Report.


  1. Currency: The issue is how the budget and expenditure numbers should be reported; with or without a dollar sign ($), in whole dollars rather than dollars and cents, and with or without a comma separator for 1,000s. This issue arose because there were inconsistencies in the initial draft of the Town Report. We agreed that we will continue with our current and past format: dollars and cents, with no dollar sign, and a comma separator.


  1. Balance Sheet: The two issues are whether to continue to publish the Balance Sheet in the Town Report, and whether it should have more detail. Our consensus was “yes” to the first and “no” to the second.


  1. Assign jobs for FY20.

Voted: Auditing assignments for FY20 will remain the same as for FY19.


10 Procedure Manuals

  1. General Fund: Mr. Cooch has prepared an entirely new procedure manual, largely driven by changes in the structure of the Town’s accounts at Mascoma Bank. It also notes the propriety of optionally using on-line statement balances, rather than paper statement balances for doing end of month reconciliations.

Voted: To approve the new General Fund Audit Procedure Manual contingent on review and consent from Ms. Barrett and Mr. Brown by 3/27/2020.


  1. Reserve Funds: Mr. Cooch has prepared a revised manual reflecting the use of accrual rather than cash accounting for monthly balances (see pages 11 and 12 of the manual)

Voted: To approve the revised Reserve Fund Audit Procedure Manual contingent on review and consent from Ms. Barrett and Mr. Brown by 3/27/2020.


  1. Payroll: See item 5 above.


  1. State Payments: Tabled to our next meeting


  1. Other business. There was none.


  1. The meeting was adjourned at 9:56 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Linfield C. Brown