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The city of Pearsall continues to lack internal control over its financial reporting, resulting in the ongoing delay in meeting state and home rule charter guidelines.
According to Robert Carter, certified public accountant with Leal and Carter, the independent auditing firm hired by the city, the city administration’s failure to reconcile accounts has contributed to the delay.
“There was one finding, but it has been an issue that has gone on for several years,” Carter told councilors moments before their unanimous decision to approve the 2021 audit. “Our recommendation is that accounts are reconciled monthly.”
Councilors quizzed Finance Director Jaqueline Zuniga over internal controls.
“We have not been reconciling monthly,” Zuniga said. “Now it is being done as of the audit. We started doing it around April.”
“The reason why I am asking is because they are always emphasizing this,” Councilor Davina Rodriguez said. “We need to take advice given to us. This advice was given to us last year; it is very crucial we do this because they are so adamant.”
Leal and his firm have named internal control issues in fiscal year audits since 2018.
“We recognize there are internal control issues,” City Manager Federico Reyes said. “Keep in mind, since I have been here, we have done four audits and a forensic audit.”
Councilors decided in 2019 to hire Leal and his firm to conduct a forensic audit of financing related to upgrades made at Polo Patino Park. The city spent $17,530 for the report that found no indication of criminal wrongdoing in money management related to the park.