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Accountant offers to help fix city's books

Wednesday, October 02, 2013 - Updated: 10:14 AM

By ALISSA SCOTT

alissa.scott@recordernews.com

Michael Rossi, a member of West & Co. CPA, PC, offered his firm's services to help straighten out City Hall's books during an Amsterdam Common Council meeting Tuesday.

After 4th Ward Alderman David Dybas outlined "items needed to accomplish putting the city of Amsterdam's financial records in order," lawmakers had a chance to ask Rossi about his work.

Dybas said any accounting firm hired by the city would need to demonstrate an ability to reconcile and input all prior accounting balances into the city's new KVS accounting system, ensure all ending account balances are properly accounted for, record all account transactions and entries for the period July 2011 to June 2012 and July 2012 to June 2013, and the ability to recognize and correct prior incorrect entries.

City government's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Rossi said he has been performing governmental audits for the past seven years and currently represents the city of Johnstown. Rossi said he's surprised to see the condition of the Amsterdam's accounts, but in his opinion, he could handle the city's day-to-day finances.

Though it is not required, the council discussed seeking bids for accounting firms.

Rossi said he enjoys that process, though he isn't sure how the council could differentiate between two firms' dollar-per-hour amounts combined with a suggested number of hours it would take to complete.

If hired to clean up the city's accounts, Rossi explained that his firm could not then audit its own work.

After the meeting, David Mitchell, deputy controller, said he thought Rossi's presentation was "fair."

Mitchell also presented a letter from Laura Poehlman, a CPA Mitchell recommends to work on the city's capital projects accounts. Rossi said if she is hired, his firm would have no problem working with her through the process.

Mayor Ann Thane called an additional special committee meeting for tonight at 6:30 to continue the discussion.

     

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