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Audit finds multiple issues with financial reporting in Carencro

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(The Center Square) — Auditors found several issues with Carencro’s financial report for 2023, including budget deficits, a lack of budget amendments, problems with federal grants and issues with procurement. Louisiana Legislative Auditor Mike Waguespack’s office contracted the audit to the Lafayette-based accounting firm Kolder, Slaven & Company, LLC. The accountants found the city budgeted expenditures that exceeded the total amount of estimated funds by more than 5%. According to state law, local governments are required to amend their budgets when revenues miss projections by 5% or more. The audit found Carencro officials did not properly monitor their compliance with the budget, so they did not make the required amendments. Several issues occurred as a result of a lack of properly trained employees, including not accurately reporting the expenditures of several federal grants. The city also did not have adequate segregation of their funds and separation of duties for employees performing the functions of this financial statement, which increased the risk of errors in proper accounting. The city utilized federal funds to pay for expenditures that had already been charged to other grant programs. It was determined that over $2.5 million was charged to other federal programs and are considered questioned costs. A non-employee of the city had collected amounts owed to the city through a personal Venmo account and then remitted the amount to the city through a reduction of reimbursements owed from the city. A check related to a block grant was also signed by an unapproved signer. These both could also be a result of a lack of city employees. Along with struggling to properly report, the city failed to turn in certain filings in a timely manner, including their sales taxes which they were monetarily penalized for. The financial statements used for this audit were also not filed on time. The city’s employees did not pay the appropriate amount of payroll taxes in the amount of $27,847. Taxpayer funds adding up to $3,000 were donated to nonprofit organizations, a violation of the state Constitution.Carencro officials responded by saying they concur with the exceptions noted and are working to address the deficiencies identified.

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