Derry praised for its accountingBy ADAM SWIFT
Union Leader Correspondent
January 14. 2013 9:21PM
DERRY - A recent independent audit of the town's books show Derry to be in good financial shape.
"What we are saying, in a nutshell, is that your financial statements are completely in agreement with generally accepted accounting principals," said Scott McIntyre of auditing firm Melanson Heath.
During a report to the town council last week, McIntyre praised the town and its financial administrators for carrying a fund balance of $12.8 million at the end of fiscal year 2012.
"That represents about 15 percent of the fiscal 2012 appropriations," he said. "In our opinion, that is where the town of Derry should be in terms of its liquidity and overall financial position."
The unassigned fund balance is an increase over the $10.2 million balance at the end of fiscal year 2011, McIntyre noted.
He said the town is also in good shape in its long-term debt situation, with plans to pay off a healthy portion of its debt over the next 10 years.
The firm did present the town with a recommendation letter for several areas of its finances, but said none of the recommendations are categorized as a material weakness or significant deficiency with the town's finances.
McIntyre said his firm is suggesting the town take a more formalized approach to its risk assessment plan as well as formalize a fund balance policy. However, he noted that Frank Childs, town finance director, does look to present a fund balance plan to the council soon.
Council Chairman Brad Benson classified the audit as being very clean and noted that the council has had a lot of discussion about how it approaches its fund balances, and what that money and can and cannot be appropriated for.
Town Administrator John Anderson praised Childs and his department for making the independent audit a smooth process.
"The leadership at the finance department is what makes it go so well," he said.