The day-to-day financial realities of running a local government often come as a shock to newly elected officials.
Newly elected officials may find themselves dealing with an antiquated computerized financial reporting system. They may be unfamiliar with the reporting requirements for a local government. They must decide whether to keep their old auditor, or hire a new one. They may suddenly have to deal with legal issues regarding the local government’s budget, public records, or adherence to the public bid law.
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) has many resources available to assist newly elected officials. For a complete list of the assistance LLA offers, please see Legislative Auditor Assistance to Local Auditees.
One outreach effort LLA implemented in 2015 that newly elected officials have found to be especially helpful is the Center for Local Government Excellence (CLGE), a multi-level training and certification program that discusses the internal control, accounting, financial reporting, legal and other issues regarding the operations of local government. The classes are presented periodically throughout the state, and the class materials are available on LLA’s website. Challenges faced by newly elected officials face are specifically discussed in CLGE training, including the Checklist for Newly Elected Officials.
- I am a newly elected official and want to hire a new audit firm to perform my agency’s audit. Am I required to retain the audit firm from the old administration if there is a multi-year contract that extends into my administration? May I sign a contract with a new audit firm before I take office?
- I am a newly elected official of a local government, taking office in January. My agency has a 6/30 fiscal year end. I am certain that the prior administration misappropriated public funds. I do not want any findings associated with the old administration in the audit report of my new administration. May I engage a CPA firm to perform an audit on the portion of the fiscal year that pertains to the old administration, and a separate audit on the portion of the fiscal year that pertains to my new administration?