Richmond Still Late in Filing 2015 Financial Report

Comprehensive documents were due to state Nov. 30.

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The City of Richmond is nearly two months late in filing its latest comprehensive financial report with the Virginia auditor of accounts, and finance staff expect to fall yet another month behind.

Martha Mavredes, state auditor of accounts, says today that the city filed preliminary draft documents, but to her knowledge had not yet filed the required 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that was due Nov. 30.

Tammy Hawley, press secretary to Mayor Dwight C. Jones, said last week that the city now expects to complete the document by the end of February.

The report, a CAFR, is an annual review of the city’s finances, and is used to guide future budgetary plans. The revised deadline would put the report just before Mayor Jones typically unveils his proposed biennial budget in March.

The new delay comes after Lenora Reid, the city’s top finance official, told council Dec. 14 that the CAFR would be completed by the end of January, which would have put completion a month behind schedule.

Reid said that part of the problem was that she wasn’t given an accurate picture of how much work remained to complete the CAFR. She said that former Chief Deputy Administrative Officer Norman Butts, who left his post in June, misinformed her that most of the finance staff were working on the 2015 document.

Contacted at his Maryland home, Butts says that he has no comment about Reid's remark.

Reid said that substantial manpower went toward completing the previous 2014 CAFR, which also was behind schedule. This report, due Nov. 30, 2014, was filed in October 2015.

“July 1, 2015 was the first day of the 2015 fiscal year, and we are going back there trying to do some of the day-to-day work that has not been done that we were told was completed,” Reid said.

Two weeks ago, Reid said that she expected the 2015 document to be completed by February because two auditing tests remain to be completed by Grant Thornton LLP, the firm in charge of compiling the annual report for the city.

City officials have also blamed the faulty installation of a new database. The delays were central to accusations of mismanagement within the city's financial department, which has seen a large turnover of officials in recent years.

Mavredes couldn't say how many other localities are late filing their reports. “The number is larger than usual because pension accounting has changed,” she said.

She confirmed that Richmond city and schools are up to date with their 2014 reports. Editor's note: The name ofthe firm hired to perform the city's external audit, Grant Thornton LLP, was previously misspelled. We apologize for the error.

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