Recently, two letters appeared in the Green Valley News (GVR numbers; Spending money on what? May 29) were critical of the GVR Board’s approval of up to $50,000 to hire an accounting expert.
I was not present at the Fiscal Affairs meeting but have spoken with some members of the Committee. This issue first arose when the committee chair sought answers from staff to explain why they were showing a deficit for 2018 when documents indicated a surplus.
After numerous attempts to get clarification of multiple documents from staff and how they arrived at their numbers, the committee made the decision to recommend bringing in an expert to advise on how to best present the financial information.
Contrary to the opinion letters, hiring this individual was not to “train’ the Board and the Committee members. This committee is comprised of former CPAs, CEOs, two former accountants who worked with non-profits, a former comptroller who was the CFO with a large corporation and former executives from large companies. This is perhaps the most financially astute group ever assembled for the Fiscal Affairs Committee so “training” is not the purpose.
The GVR Board is responsible for the corporation and that includes the assets and finances. Unlike past Boards and committees, who simply rubber stamped what was presented to them by staff. This Board and Committee are taking their job seriously and asking questions. When the answers are not satisfactory, they are doing what they should do and seeking outside professional advice.
One opinion writer asked: considering the experience of the Committee, “why were they not able to understand basic accounting principles”?
Perhaps the better question should be why aren’t the Committee members understanding the documents prepared by staff? Is it possible the staff is not using basic accounting principles? Maybe we should wait to see what the expert has to say before passing judgment on this decision.
John Haggerty, Green Valley