Kenn Chandler makes a point during Mount Desert's annual town meeting on May 5. The meeting had to be continued due to a delay with the town audit. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

Software shift caused late audit

MOUNT DESERT — It wasn’t the accountant’s fault that the town’s financial audit for last year was not completed on time, causing the May 5 town meeting to be continued until June 9, town Treasurer Kathi Mahar told the board of selectmen last week.

She said the delay was caused by the town’s transition from the TRIO financial software system to the MUNIS system.

“We spent about 15 extra weeks of time getting this software on board, putting the new procedures in place and getting people trained,” Mahar said. “It was just such an overwhelming task.

“I’m not saying the software is not good; I’m just saying it was a huge transition. I think it’s going to be a good tool for us to get information out of. I feel confident that we are in a good place to move forward with this.”

Like many towns in the area, Mount Desert uses the James W. Wadman CPA firm of Ellsworth to prepare its annual financial audit.

“Mr. Wadman and his staff have gone above and beyond in helping us deal with this,” Mahar said.

Wadman presented the delayed audit report for fiscal year 2013-2014 to the board of selectmen May 20.

“The software you have now is a very good program,” he said. “But certainly, switching over from TRIO to MUNIS set you back a number of months as far as having your books ready to be audited.”

He said the audit found no significant problems with the town’s finances or financial record-keeping.

Copies of the audit report are available at the town office. The report also is posted on the town’s website.

The June 5 town meeting was suspended after former town Treasurer and selectman Jean Bonville pointed out that the annual town report did not include the audit report as required by the town charter.

Residents already had voted on a number of non-financial warrant articles before the meeting was halted.

It will resume June 9 for voting on the municipal budget and the Mount Desert Elementary School budget for the coming fiscal year.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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