According to McDonald' request, over $127,000,000, yes that is $127 million dollars is sitting in the Tax Collectors Office and hasn't apparently been deposited in the bank since July. Besides being extremely risky from a security aspect, it also seems to be an extremely poor financial practice. How much interest alone is lost when that money lays in City Hall rather than in a bank account?
The e-mails below pretty much lay it out clearly, but it should make anyone question if there are any sound business practices in effect at Hartford City Hall .The answer appears to be a solid NO!
In a message dated 10/1/2014 12:57:38 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, MACDD001@hartford.gov writes:
This is very troubling. Especially given our budget challenges. I am requesting that the Internal Audit Commission perform an audit of the Reconciliation of Tax Receipts and related processes.
Councilman. The ltest
Sent from my iPad
On Sep 30, 2014, at 3:11 PM, "Cloud, Adam" <CLOUA001@hartford.gov> wrote:
> Ms. Ralls,
> Thank you for your prompt response, however I would like to clarify a few matters:
> 1. No communication was ever made to this office regarding the time frame associated with resolving these issues by the end of September. Also, it has come to our attention that the batches will be posted back to the months that the deposits were incurred. This is contrary to what was stated in your e-mail from this morning. Please provide clarification as to when the batches will be posted and why was the decision made not to post to September.
> 2. Although sending staff is appreciated, what we request is to have the attachments to the tax batches be explicit in the their descriptions. Our challenge isn’t with the work load, we are very capable of executing our responsibilities. Rather, our ability to discern what deposits at the bank tie to the batches that are being posted is at issue . Instead of sending the accountants to us, I would recommend that you send them to the Tax Office to provide them with assistance.
> 3. Although you may believe that this issue will not have a negative impact on our audit, it does not change the fact that significant City revenue has not been reported on our general ledger and as such, doesn’t present the accurate condition of our financials.
> Hon. Adam M. Cloud
> City of Hartford
> From: "Ralls, Leigh Ann" <RALLL001@hartford.gov
> Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:28:46 -0400
> To: Treasurer Cloud <
> Cc: "Hill, Darrell" <
>>, Shawn Wooden <email@example.com >>
> Subject: RE: Reconciliation of Tax receipts
> Thank you for your email and I recognize and understand your concern. I would like to let you know that the following corrective measures are in progress to address this issue.
> Since assuming the Acting Finance Director role last week, I met with the Tax Collector twice regarding these outstanding tax deposits and we have status meetings set up throughout this week. The tax office will have these receipts reconciled in Munis by the close of September’s books. This timeframe has been communicated to your staff. The tax office has been short staffed and have just come out of their busy collection season. Also, the office has recently filled a crucial role of junior accountant. This junior accountant’s primary training has been on reconciling these receipts. These reconciliations are also a major part of his daily responsibilities going forward. I apologize for the inconvenience this has placed on your staff. I am more than willing to send one or two of the accountants from Accounting and Control to your office to help your staff reconcile these deposits which will help relieve the burden that this places on their day to day responsibilities.
> As far as the auditors, I do not believe there will be a negative impact on our audit. These deposits are recorded in the QDS system which is the system of record for tax and all of the money has been deposited at the bank. According to discussions I have had with the auditors during implementation of QDS, the frequency to which we bridge over these transactions is our decision.
> Please let me know who I should coordinate scheduling with on your staff to assist with the reconciliations.
> Leigh Ann
> From: Cloud, Adam
> Sent: Monday, September 29, 2014 5:19 PM
> To: Ralls, Leigh Ann
> Cc: Hill, Darrell; Shawn T. Wooden
> Subject: Reconciliation of Tax receipts
> Leigh Ann,
> I am writing to express my concern over the delay in the reconciliation of the tax receipts for both the pooled cash account and the fast pay program. As you are aware, my office has on numerous occasions informed both finance and the tax department to no avail about the failure to properly post these entries. This failure has an immediate and significant impact on how my office does its job in that we are charged with reconciling these accounts and rather than being able to process these transaction we are literally at a stand still. Further, it will be an undue burden for my staff to have to dedicate its time and resources to reconcile these accounts all at once simply because the tax office has failed to do its job. In addition, this delay will have a negative impact on our audit. The fact that we have $127m of deposits not journaled since July is unacceptable and most certainly will be a matter that will be raised in the management letter from our auditors.
> Therefore, I formally request that the finance department respond to this concern immediately so as to not place any further burden on my staff and to avoid any future consequences resulting from the upcoming audit.
> For your benefit and review below is the outstanding bank entries on Pool Cash for Tax that have not been brought into MUNIS for July and August 2014. It is a total of $117,312,021.96.