Councilman wants credit card audit

May. 24, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

The spectre of city-issued credit cards used by High Point employees has reared its head again.

City Councilman Foster Douglas says a forensic audit of the city’s procurement card, or P-card, program, is needed. Douglas said such an audit of the city’s entire financial program might be in order as a matter of routine, given the pending change in leadership at the top, with City Manager Strib Boynton set to retire July 1.
Douglas and Boynton have clashed over many issues in recent years, including the P-cards.
Earlier this year, Douglas requested data from the credit cards and raised questions about whether there were adequate safeguards in place governing their usage.
About 365 of the city’s roughly 1,400 employees have credit cards and spend about $4.5 million per year with them. City officials say the cards are an efficient way for employees to buy small items they need to perform their duties and that they haven’t been abused.
All transactions are reviewed by city department heads and purchasing department personnel, as well as outside auditors, according to the city.
But Douglas, along with councilmen Jim Davis and Jeff Golden, have said an examination of 8,500 pages of records of credit card data showed the cards were being used for meals and other personal purchases that may have been unrelated to city business.
The city in February changed its policy to prohibit charges for meals by employees within Guilford, Davidson, Forsyth and Randolph counties.
City Financial Services Director Jeff Moore said a forensic audit would be outside the scope of work undertaken in the city’s annual audit by accounting firm McGladrey & Pullen.
The firm could perform such an audit, but the city would have to negotiate a separate price for it, which Moore estimated could be $150,000 to $200,000.
“A forensic audit accounts for transactions with the intent to find misdemeanor or fraudulent transactions that may have occurred,” Moore said. “That is beyond the scope of what McGladrey has been engaged for.”
Douglas agreed to hold off on his request until after he, Moore and others meet with McGladrey & Pullen on June 2.
pkimbrough@hpe.com | 888-3531