Cass County Outside Auditor’s Report for 2010

The anticipated auditor’s report by Trout, Beeman & Co., CPAs has been released.  In the case of some officials in Harrisonville, feared may be the appropriate adjective.  You can read the report on the Cass County Auditor’s webpage. If you have difficulty finding the report, you can find a copy at an alternate site here.

I had anticipated rising early this morning to read the document and to highlight items in the report of particular interest.  Unfortunately, as happens from time-to-time, I had an attack of insomnia and didn’t get to sleep until well after 3:00AM. Instead, I’ll read the report and give a better review in the coming days.

The link above is to a copy of the report. You can read it for yourself.  The bottom line you’ll find, as am I, is that our County government must have been filled with incompetents to have done what the reports reveal.  The introduction of the report contains these two paragraphs.

Our consideration of Internal control was for the limited purpose described in the preceding paragraph and was not designed to identify all deficiencies in internal control that might be significant deficiencies or material weaknesses and, therefore, there can be no assurance that all such deficiencies have been identified. However, as discussed below, we identified certain deficiencies in internal control that we consider to be material weaknesses.

A deficiency in internal control exists when the design or operation of a control does not allow management or employees, in the normal course of performing their assigned functions, to prevent, or detect and correct misstatements on a timely basis. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies in internal control, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements will not be prevented, or detected and corrected on a timely basis.

When a CPA says there are “material weaknesses,” managers in the private sector think, “OMG!!! I’m gonna get fired, sued and never work again!”  I once worked as a Data Systems Auditor for a large KC CPA firm. Our audit team used that phrase in a report to a large corporation. After reading the report, the Board of Directors fired the CEO, CIO and CFO. Those two words are significant and that was just the first page of the Trout-Beeman report.

I’m sure the white-washing and finger-pointing will commence immediately. I’ve had hints that it has already started. I wonder what the editorial for the Harrisonville Democrat-Missourian will say in this week’s issue?  If last week is any judge, I’ll bet a buck the white-wash has already been ordered.