CCIDA Committee Reviews Audit

A preliminary audit of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency is complete, and ready to be presented during next week’s board meeting.

The CCIDA Audit Committee met with David DiTanna of BWB on Tuesday to go over the organization’s preliminary audit. In addition to the committee – which consisted of David Metzger, CCIDA board chairman; Greg DeCinque, treasurer; and Doreen Sixbey, member – Bill Daly, administrative director for the CCIDA, and Rich Dixon, CCIDA chief financial officer were in attendance.

“The auditors come in, and they go over in detail what they are going to present (to the full board),” Daly said. “It’s a chance for the audit committee to listen to all the explanations. If they saw something they really disagree with, or they thought there was something that should have been added or something deleted or changed, it’s that opportunity before it’s a formal document that goes to the regular board.”

DiTanna presented to the committee several areas of the audit that have changed since the last audit, and explained why the changes occurred. Many of the changes occurred due to projects either being started or completed over the last year.

“We’re basically a pass-through agent,” DiTanna said. “Our responsibility is to just receive the monies and provide them to the county to really transact it all.”

DiTanna also made several suggestions to the committee on what the board could focus on or potentially change. One of the items that has been recommended to the CCIDA for the last several years is to look at its financial plan.

“I think, in this industry, it is difficult,” DiTanna said. “You’ve got a lot of things that are different. Obviously, you’ve got the loan fund, you’ve got a rental income, you’ve got potentially management fees and if the lake projects happen, that’s going to generate revenues. So, it’s a lot of things that could happen that could be really good, and things that could be negatively related to our financial positioning.”

DiTanna also recommended doing a more formal review of the CCIDA’s bank reconciliation process on a monthly basis, which Dixon said is something that is already under way. DiTanna also discussed tax-exempt bonds and PILOT programs.

“We saw, within the audit document, there is just a one-page required disclosure. Well, that doesn’t have a whole lot of information on it,” DiTanna said.

He recommended providing information about the businesses affected by these programs during the board’s open session. This would allow the public more information on items, such as employment. Metzger, DeCinque and Sixbey agreed that discussing the agreements outside of executive session would be informative. Metzger said he would recommend it to the rest of the board.

“It would also reinforce our loan review during our executive session,” Metzger said. “It would give a snapshot of the stability of the company.”

According to Daly, the audit committee meets one to two times each year with the auditor, so that each item can be explained prior to the full board reviewing the audit.

“This is very important,” Daly said. “If (DiTanna) were to walk into the board meeting with a fully done audit and there’s something that (the board) thinks is materially incorrect or should have been handled differently, they’re going to be mad at two people: The auditor and (Dixon). So, that’s why we do this. It’s an explanation of what (DiTanna) is going to presented at our board meeting Tuesday.”

The CCIDA board of directors will be meeting March 19, at which time the full board will hear a condensed version of the audit. A completed version of the audit will also be available at the next meeting.