City Auditor’s Office recommends ways to improve the timeliness and accuracy of General Services Department payments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 18, 2017
The City Auditor’s Office released an audit of the General Services Department’s accounts payable process. The audit focused on how well the department protected city resources when paying for goods and services.
The audit concluded that General Services made payment errors which should have been caught during the review and approval process. Vendors were paid twice for the same invoice, wrong vendors were paid, and taxes were paid although the city is exempt.
The audit determined that the timeliness of the department’s payments has declined and some payments have been late. Vendor and General Service staff actions have caused payment delays. Vendors have sent invoices to the wrong locations and/or did not include a purchase order number on their invoices. General Services was not timely in approving payments or resolving problems that prevent payments from being made. In addition, division staff did not always create needed documents or forward copies of invoices soon enough to ensure timely payments.
General Services paid more for goods and services than necessary. Discounts were lost because pay terms were incorrect or payments were not made within the discount period. Some invoices were paid too early which prevented the city from using those funds for investments. In addition, some payments incurred late fees.
The audit includes recommendations to better protect city resources; strengthen the payment review and approval process; and improve the timeliness of payments. Management agreed with the recommendations.
View the complete report online at /cityauditor/.
Media questions should be directed to Douglas Jones, City Auditor, (816) 513-3300.