Grand County rejects accounting firm oversight proposal | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County rejects accounting firm oversight proposal

Hank Shell
hshell@skyhidailynews.com

The Grand County Board of Commissioners has rejected a proposal from accounting firm Alvarez & Marsal for implementing new policies and procedures in the county, and will instead allow county officials to take the helm.

A steering committee on the matter had condensed the Alvarez & Marsal proposal into five main target areas including policies and procedures, financial reporting, support for accounts receivable software and a fit/gap analysis to determine what further software would benefit the county, said Lurline Underbrink-Curran, county manager.

The committee estimated that implementing new policies and procedures would cost around $12,000, while obtaining support for accounts receivable software would cost around $15,000, Underbrink-Curran said. The treasurer's office would need an additional $500 to convert data from the current Quickbooks system to the new accounts receivable system from Tyler Technologies.

Though the anticipated cost of $27,500 doesn't yet include a bid for the fit/gap analysis, the price tag is far below the almost $650,000 estimate Alvarez & Marsal provided to the county.

"This is very good news," said Commissioner James Newberry. "This is closer to what I was thinking as a budget."

The county will try to complete the fit/gap analysis before it begins its budgeting process in 2015, Underbrink-Curran said.

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The county has set a deadline of the end of 2014 for the rest of the objectives.

"It's a big project, but we think we can handle it," said county Finance Director Scott Berger, who will oversee the development and implementation of new policies and procedures.

The list of directives from Alvarez & Marsal came from a forensic accounting investigation conducted by that firm following a scandal in the building department. Around $500,000 in county funds were misappropriated, though most of the money has been recovered. Former department employee Brigid Irish was arrested in relation to that case.

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