According to a few Google searches, then speaking to two accountants, an “agreed upon procedure” is a term used in accounting. So is an “audit.” However, according to accountants, they have vastly different meanings to people in the field.To use the analogy of one of the accountants I spoke to, “It is like going to McDonald’s and getting a burger, then going to a fancy steak house, getting a steak, and saying that the two meals are both the same because they are both beef.” If you would like your own proof, google the phrase, "agreed upon procedure."
There are no less than four “levels of examination” when it comes to accounting. Audits are the most reliable, and most expensive, because the evaluator has total access and control. On the far end of the spectrum, completely opposite of audits, is an “agreed upon procedure.” It is the LEAST RELIABLE accounting inspection because the group hiring the evaluator sets the parameters for investigation. Furthermore, the evaluator provides information to the hiring group and allows those people to DRAW THEIR OWN CONCLUSIONS from the work completed.
In the case of the now infamous Borough financial report, an“agreed upon procedure” was conducted. The Borough hired an evaluator, gave the evaluator a set of parameters to look into, and he wrote a report. All of this is summarized on page 1. I have now read this “agreed upon procedure” multiple times.I have read the entire report, including the parts about people signing their own time sheets, pay advances given, and the limits given to the evaluator.I stand where I was in my last post.
I do not need to go on a witch hunt or to crucify people because they followed an accepted past practice, repaid every dime of advances, and/or also “got with the times” and updated the practices to better protect tax payer money. The practices have been fixed and no money is missing.
I am also not running a political campaign and looking to win votes. So, my take may be vastly different than someone with an agenda that includes political office. While some may not like of our position because it does not fit their political agenda, those same people need to acknowledge that we have both criticized and complimented our leaders. When our leaders have been honest, we write about that. When politics seem to cloud their judgment, we have challenged them to rise above it.
The bottom line about this agreed upon procedure is this: the report was issued last fall but everyone, including those now talking about it, said nothing about it until election time. That reeks of a political agenda masked in a call for transparency. Transparent would have been talking about the entire report in October and not waiting until election time to highlight a few parts that help move a personal agenda forward. Transparent could have even been learning about the report in January and talking about all aspects of the agreed upon procedure.
But, to call the report an audit, which is such an egregious exaggeration of what took place, then refuse to back off the statements for three months, is anything but transparent. It is a blatant exaggeration of some facts while omitting other facts. That kind of behavior is so completely disrespectful to the voters because it assumes the voters are too ignorant to understand an issue. I have no interest in being led by someone who treats me like I am uninformed and ignorant.