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Posted on: December 21, 2016

Accounting firm completes audit of Parks department

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Certified accounting firm RubinBrown LLP has completed an audit report of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board for transactions from Jan. 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016.


The City hired RubinBrown in 2014 to create a three-year audit plan of the City’s departments. Visit the City’s Open Data page to view audits completed.


The audit report identified best practices already in place and made observations and recommendations on how to improve processes.


The audit covered the Park Board's general operations, including the golf enterprise fund. As the Park Board is an administrative board set by City Charter, the audit only covers operations and financial transactions for which the City Council has governance.


The following procedures were completed as part of the audit:


• In-person interviews with Parks department personnel at the Cooper Tennis Complex, Horton Smith Golf Course, Stewart Golf Course, Rivercut Golf Course, and the Chesterfield Family Center; and the City’s risk manager.

• Development of a narrative of the Parks department operations based on our interviews and our review of the City of Springfield and Parks policies and procedures.

• Limited testing in the following areas:

•  Cash handling observations for the five park locations listed above;

• Inspection of cash receipts support for a sample of 10 dates;

• Financial analyses of the golf enterprise fund and the Parks general funds; and

• Inspection of safety inspection checklists.

• Review of the golf enterprise fund budget and financial statement for evidence of a deferred maintenance fund.

• Benchmarking of liability insurance limits against similarly sized cities.


Best practices

Based on RubinBrown’s review, the Parks department has adequate internal controls, except as provided in the findings below.


The following are some of the observations indicative of the Parks department’s adherence to best practice internal controls:


• The Parks department has been recommended for accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation (CAPRA). A parks agency must comply with 151 standards in order to obtain accreditation.

• Parks performs unannounced cash handling audits at selected facilities periodically throughout the year.

• The Parks department business office reconciles the cash deposits to sales reports from each point-of-sale location on a daily basis. During this process the business office reviews the reconciliations for overage, shortages, and unusual transactions.

• The Parks department has adequate safety policies and procedures in place.


Observations and Recommendations

RubinBrown noted the following observations during its review.


• The firm reviewed 10 days of cash packets from different locations to ensure they complied with the City’s financial management policy. RubinBrownfound errors in four of 10 days: closing cash counts, general arithmetic, incomplete void/refund documentation and a segregation of duties conflict.

• Patrons are pre-paying for rounds of golf in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500 without signing a document outlining the terms and conditions of the plan. Without proper written terms, discrepancies could arise about assignment of patron liability or who is entitled to the patron funds in the event of disagreement between the Parks

department and the patron.

• Per policy, each playground should be inspected once a month. RubinBrown reviewed five facilities with playgrounds for inspection documentation and found the following:

• One facility did not have any playground inspections documented for the selected month.

• Two selected facilities had weekly playground inspections and it was noted that those inspections contained several recurring findings that were previously documented.


RubinBrown provided four process improvement opportunities in the areas of cash handling, enterprise fund management, and insurance. All observations, recommendations, and process improvement opportunities were discussed with management.


“We appreciate the recent work done on behalf of the City’s internal audit group,” said Parks Director Bob Belote. “Our Park Board operation is a very big one, so it’s always good to have a fresh set of professional eyes looking at it with us. While we’re very fortunate to have a business operations division that works to closely manage our financial systems on a daily basis, an audit like this one gives us the opportunity to continue improving our policies and procedures.”


“We’ve already started the process of working some of their recommendations into our financial protocols where appropriate.”


Mayor Pro Tem Ken McClure is the chair of City Council's Finance and Administration Committee, which reviewed the audit.


“Internal audits provide important information to the City’s leadership team, as well as accountability to the taxpayers,” McClure said.


The Park Board audit is part of Council's approved annual audit plan and is available on the City's Web site.

 

About the Springfield-Greene County Park Board

The Park Board is a nine-member administrative board, established by City Charter, to operate a countywide park system in the City of Springfield and the unincorporated areas of Greene County. As an administrative board, the Park Board is given the authority to enter into contracts, make real estate purchases, and oversee the city-county park system.


The Park Board operates more than 100 park sites, including specialty sports and recreation facilities, more than 100 miles

of trail opportunities, a zoo and three golf courses.


The Park Board recently celebrated its accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). The Park Board is now among only 155 CAPRA-accredited parks and recreation agencies in the U.S. Fewer than 2 percent of parks and recreation agencies in the country are accredited by the agency.


In 2016, the Park Board’s Cooper Tennis Complex was recognized with a Facility Excellence Award by the U.S. Tennis Association and the Lafayette Park/Woodland Heights “Tennis Under the Lights” Program was recognized with an Event of the Year Award by the U.S. Tennis Association Missouri District



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For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), cscott@springfieldmo.gov or David Holtmann, Interim Finance Director | 417-864-1632 or dholtmann@springfieldmo.gov

Download the Parks audit report.
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