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Abbeville receives clean audit; oversight credited

The City of Abbeville has once again received a clean audit.
The City Council recently heard the update of the audit for the fiscal year that ended on Dec. 31, 2016.
Steve Moosa of Darnel, Sikes, Gardes & Frederick provided the update on the report.
“It’s a clean audit,” Moosa said. “Everything is in line with proper accounting standards. The accounting department maintained records, so we had no issue obtaining those records.
“Things were in order.”
Now that the council has approved the audit, the report will be sent to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office as well to those of the grant agencies that have provided funds to the city. The city is required to submit an audit to those agencies for each fiscal year.
Moosa told the council that nothing is out of line with the money that is coming into the city or with what is being spent.
“Overall, everything is pretty steady as far as your day-to-day revenue sources,” Moosa said. “Everything is running pretty consistent as far as expenditures.”
Mayor Mark Piazza said those are good signs.
“That is a good thing that our revenues have been consistent for the last three or four years,” Piazza said. “That is a big plus.”
Councilman Brady Broussard Jr. said the clean audit is reflective of everyone involved using good financial sense.
“Before it gets to the auditors,” Broussard said, “there are a lot of good things happening in this building (City Hall). That starts with the mayor. You have Kathy (Faulk) as the Treasurer, who does a great job. Each department head and employee has bought into that these are unique times, with an oil and gas crisis surrounding us.
“This shows that it can work under these circumstances.”
Moosa said that it is attention to detail that makes the difference in the outcome of the audit. Moosa referenced the city council meeting each quarter to review finances as something that helps keep things in line.
“It is keeping oversight and being involved,” Moosa said. “Otherwise, things can get out of hand. It allows you to properly plan, so that if something comes up, you can weather it.”
Piazza credited Faulk and her staff for much of that oversight.
“They keep us in line,” Piazza said. “I can tell you, they question every little invoice. If they don’t know what it’s for, they ask.”
Piazza said the bookkeeping staff noticed a fraudulent charge made by a hacker on a city credit card.
“They asked me about $150 on the credit card for something purchased in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,” Piazza said. “I haven’t been to Fort Lauderdale in 25 years. I thought, maybe I accidently used the wrong card when I went on vacation recently. I asked them to look into it. They called the credit card company and they found it was an illegal use of the card from a hacker in Florida. I had looked at the bill and didn’t notice it and they caught it.
“We have some watch dogs in there and they do a very good job.”

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