Town manager says Paris accounts off by $2.1 million

PARIS — The town's general ledger is off by $2.1 million, Town Manager Amy Bernard reported Wednesday.

Manual credit and debit entries into the ledger were incorrectly transposed, throwing the town's accounts far off balance, Bernard explained.

In some cases, the bookkeeping confusion has meant payroll checks have bounced because transfers weren't made in a timely manner, Bernard said.

During the selectmen's meeting Monday, Bernard reported that the town's financial audit had been suspended because auditors were concerned that account reconciliations provided by the town are inaccurate.

The town's general operating fund has not been reconciled with its bank account since since June 30, 2011, Bernard reported.

Bernard said she discovered errors with the town's general ledger within a week of beginning work at Paris.

Other accounts in the town's general ledger such as vehicle registrations and sales tax also haven't been balanced in as long or longer than the town's cash account, Bernard reported.

The board voted to hire Janet Smith, a bookkeeper recommended to the town by the auditor, to straighten out the books. Bernard said Smith's services will cost the town $7,500.

According to a draft of the contract, Smith's work would include reconciling the general operating, payroll and Northeast Bank accounts to the town's general ledger. She will also reconcile taxes receivable to the outstanding tax lists on the general ledger, according to the contract.

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Gary Vaughn's picture

In the red?

Crazy how every time Paris gets a new manager, blame falls to the previous management. When a current manager is in office , everyone thinks they walk on water. After they leave, the story changes as to how badly they performed. And no audit or overseeing of the books has taken place in how long??Too funny. I balance my financial life every week, sometimes more often. But , most likely the blame will not fall where it belongs and we taxpayers will be punished for the business practices that the town of Paris makes.

Jeff Johnson's picture

Why is there no mention of

Why is there no mention of the current comptroller? Someone has to be in charge of the books.

What would happen if this were a personal account? The bank, creditors and vendors would be all over the account owner.

What's the general opinion out there... imbezzlement or not?

Doreen Sheive's picture

This town has major problems

To not have balanced the books for a year is irresponsible. How were monthly financial reports (which should be done) to the Board made if the books weren't reconciled. Also, this story claims that the excise tax books haven't been reconciled for more than a year, yet an audit was completed through June 30, 2011 so how is this possible? There really needs to be better training of public officials and staff.


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