Pemberton finally gets financial statements 

Village considering other accountants for next audit

Pemberton finally has its financial records in order, over two months after the village expected to get them.

Village of Pemberton staff confirmed the news at a meeting on Sept. 14 that served a dual purpose as its regular council meeting and a conclusion of its Annual General Meeting, which began on June 28.

The meeting began with the AGM, where village officials presented the public with the 2010 Annual General Report, which contains financial statements outlining revenues and spending.

The village finally obtained the figures after a lengthy back-and-forth with accounting firm KPMG, whose financial audit of Pemberton took them beyond June 30 because the firm was adjusting to a new accounting system mandated by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

For months the two traded blame for the delay in producing financial records. The village always maintained that KPMG had "dropped the ball" in completing its audit, but David Bond, a KPMG partner who handled Pemberton's file, said at a July 20 council meeting that management at the village had taken a long time grappling with the accounting changes.

Meanwhile other firms were able to get their financial audits finished on time, despite the new system. The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District got its audit, completed by BDO Dunwoody, by the deadline.

Asked about the issues with its accountants, Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy declined to elaborate at the AGM.

"I'd like to leave it at that, we are in negotiations," he said.

Council was asked whose misunderstanding led to the delay in the audit: the village's or the KPMG's.

Administrator Daniel Sailland said at the meeting that the issue "isn't attributed to a misunderstanding."

"There are some real delays caused by the fact they were not a misunderstanding but misjudgment on the amount of time it would take to recreate a different system," he said. "The next (is) where we didn't see eye to eye in terms of various procedures. As Jordan has said, that is being negotiated."

Sailland added that Pemberton will be issuing a Request for Proposals when it next does a financial audit. That doesn't mean the village won't entertain another proposal from KPMG, but it's certainly open to other firms that wish to take it on.

As for the financial statements themselves, they show the Village of Pemberton posting revenues of $4,631,266 for 2009, compared against expenses of $3,665,477. That gave the village an annual surplus of $965,789. It also recorded an accumulated surplus, to the end of the year, of $13,372,468.

The village garnered $1,411,262 in tax revenue, slightly less than the projected $1,432,449. It did, however, take in more revenue than in 2008, when it collected $1,291,643. The village also took more money than it projected in water and sewer user rates, garnering $1,187,492 compared to a the $1,034,960 budgeted.

The annual general report also notes how the village expects to spend its accumulated surplus. It will put $190,000 towards the decommissioning of a sewage treatment plant; $125,000 towards a water park proposed near the community centre; $150,000 to sewer upgrades; and $150,000 towards a wastewater treatment plant.

Beyond that the village has earmarked $67,000 for a new fire rescue truck and $143,155 for park land acquisition.



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