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Key Biscayne

With new finance staff, Key Biscayne gets clean audit

The Key Biscayne Village Council received a clean bill of fiscal health after their annual audit Tuesday evening.

Marcum LLP did the audit for the village. Marcum partner Jorge Herrere said the village’s finance reports came up clean.

“This is the best opinion you can get,” he said.

Herrere’s colleague, Andrew Freiman said, “It was a smooth and clean audit.”

Clean audits are the norm in most municipalities, but Key Biscayne has had some hiccups before.

Council member Michael Kelly reminded the council and residents in attendance that it has only been recently that the village has managed to have perfect compliance with the auditors.

“We did have problems with compliance and part of the issue there was that your firm had to come in and do some more work than you traditionally had to do,” Kelly said.

This extra work was because, Herrere said, the village simply lacked the staff to properly cooperate with the auditing process. This is no longer the case. In 2012 the village hired Vivian Parks as finance director.

Herrere said, “you do have a finance director, an accountant, as well as a clerk now. It is actually able to run as a finance department. Previously, it was the one accountant. Now you have all the pieces in place to produce good books and records.”

Kelly said, “That’s great news.”

In fellow councilmember Edward London’s eyes while it may be great news, it is received far too late in the year to matter.

The audit is conducted based on the previous fiscal year’s reports. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1 of the previous year. Tuesday’s audit covered fiscal year 2012, which ended nearly nine months ago.

London said, “When we get a report that’s nine months old, this isn’t a report – this is history. What are we supposed to do with it? Say we did a great job? How do we manage going forward? Nine months of the year is gone by the time we get the damn thing.”

Village Manager John Gilbert said that the audit has always been completed on a similar timeframe. Herrere agreed, saying nine months is typical of similar municipalities around Miami-Dade County.

Kelly explained the village’s desire to have the audit done more quickly in the future, regardless of other municipalities’ practices. “We want to be on the best end of the curve in everything that we do,” he said.

Gilbert and Herrere agreed to meet and select benchmark dates to complete the audit within 90 or 120 days of the end of the fiscal year. “We’ll set something in motion,” said Gilbert.

The next village council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on July 2 in the Council Chamber at 560 Crandon Blvd.

The council’s first budget workshop for the upcoming fiscal year will be at 7 p.m. on June 18 in the Council Chambers.

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