AUP shows faulty procedures

Leslie Silverman

The agreed upon procedures (AUP) for the Keystone Area Historical Society (KAHS) and Museum has been completed.


The document spans the time period of Dec. 31, 2016 through 2018.


Ketel Thorstenson completed the work, which was presented to the Keystone Town Board at its latest meeting.


The procedures looked at “Ten non-payroll expenses each year and two deposits each year...28 of 30 disbursements selected were missing supporting documentation and/or canceled checks. Six of six deposits selected were missing documentation and /or could not be found clearing bank statements.”


The procedures showed no invoice or canceled check for reimbursements to Sandi McLain and/or Big Thunder Gold Mine for five disbursements totaling $2,685.16.


In addition the procedures showed an AAA insurance disbursement totaling $1,000 and one for Direct TV for $96.13. Neither had supporting documentation. 


“We need to do a better job tracking cash,” said KAHS board member Gloria Groth in front of the town board. Goth was not on the KAHS board during the audited time frame.


McLain questioned Groth.


“I appreciate you had emailed and asked about specific documentation,” McLain said. “Quite a few things I had forwarded you the documentation.”


Groth explained that receipts cannot be a blank pieces of paper with “I paid for this and I paid for this.” 


According to Groth there was a focus on the reimbursements. The bank statements did not have the canceled checks with them.


“You need to have the canceled checks with them,” Groth said. “Invoices need to have the address and the phone number of the company it came from. That’s not an acceptable accounting practice. It doesn’t mean most of these weren’t valid.”


McLain continued to question Groth, who said she “gave everything personally to the accounting firm. I did not keep anything. I gave them everything.”


Groth noted that for the personal items the KAHS  “did receive a reimbursement check back.”


McLain noted in a separate interview that she made a mistake more than once. 


“The two debit cards were identical and I accidently charged them on the wrong card,” she said. “My personal debit and the Historical Society were identical cards. In a rush as many times I was I accidentally put it on the wrong card.”


When the KAHS treasurer notified McLain of the mistake, “I knew I had made a mistake and I reimbursed the historical society. I should have checked the card number but did not. I was sorry that happened and regret I did not check for the error. It was an honest mistake.”


Some town board members urged the KAHS to go to law enforcement with the AUP findings. 


“We did the AUP of the chamber and then that got turned into law enforcement. In order to remain consistent I think the fair thing to do is to recommend that the museum AUP moves forward in the same way,” said outgoing President Rick Brandfas.


At press time the KAHS had still not decided whether they would contact law enforcement as to the AUP findings.


The public can see the AUP findings on the Town of Keystone website.

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