Board approves CPA aid

Published 11:45 am Monday, January 21, 2019

JACKSON – The Northampton County Board of Commissioners held a special called meeting on Jan. 14 to approve a contract with Greg W. Isley, CPA.

Northampton’s previous Finance Officer, Leslie Edwards, resigned her position effective Jan. 4. By Jan. 7, the Board selected Tameka Green, who was already an employee of the Finance Office, to serve as the interim in that position.

As reported previously by the News Herald, Northampton’s financial audits for Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 are not yet complete.

According to County Manager Kimberly Turner as she presented the information to the Board, she reached out to Isley’s firm for additional assistance in the Finance Office if they were available to provide it.

“After an assessment of the Finance Department, it was determined that we needed to hire external professional bookkeeping and financial management services in order to complete two outstanding audits for Northampton County,” she explained.

Isley provided an Engagement Letter laying out the terms of the work they would do for the county. According to Turner’s presentation, Isley’s bookkeeping staff would prioritize bank reconciliations while his financial management services staff would handle a variety of different tasks.

These tasks include working with the independent auditors to complete the two unfinished audits, completing timely monthly closings, presenting monthly budget/actual reporting to the County Manager and Board, overseeing day-to-day management in conjunction with the Interim Finance Officer, and revising business processes as needed to increase efficiency.

Turner noted Isley’s staff would be available to begin work on Jan. 15.

Payment for services rendered would be in the amount of $210 per hour for Isley’s time and $110 per hour for his staff’s time. The maximum billing would be capped at $30,000.

Interim Finance Officer Green noted the salary lag funds from the Finance Department would be used to cover the costs for the contract. Any additional funds needed would come from the contingency fund. That contingency amount, she noted, is currently $91,000.

Isley also appeared before the Board to answer any questions they had.

After discussion about the importance of getting the delayed FY17 and FY18 audits completed, Commissioner Kelvin Edwards motioned to approve the contract and Commissioner Joyce Buffaloe seconded. The vote passed unanimously.

Northampton’s Board of Commissioners had previously hired Isley’s firm in March 2017 to provide the same assistance for the same terms.