URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – Champaign County is cleaning up its finances. Board members voted unanimously Thursday to fix a 6-year-old mistake on the books.
“It is not a good look to the public,” Finance Chair Stephanie Fortado said. “This was a clear deficit that’s out there.”
Fortado said the money may not sound like a lot to the county, but it’s important to be transparent with the public when things don’t add up.
A memo from the county treasurer says back in 2017 and 2018, bank reconciliations weren’t completed in entirety. That means certain activity wasn’t recorded – things like chargebacks and wire fees. The shortages add up to just over $27,000.
Fortado says because the liability was carried over year after year, the county should acknowledge it. If the board had instead voted “no,” she said it would show up as a footnote on the audit for yet another year.
“But in my opinion, if we have a deficit on our books in years end, it is our responsibility as a board to pay for that deficit from the fund balance and be transparent to the public about what our actual expenses are,” Fortado said.
Another board member echoed Fortado’s call for transparency and said they should explain to the public why it happened, and put policies in place to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
The resolution that passed Thursday will amend the budget and move money over from the fund balance to cover the shortage.