Accounting changes slow audit

The Village of Montrose had to wait a while to receive its financial statement for 2009 but the numbers are in and available for residents’ perusal.

Montrose’s ‘09 finances up for public perusal on Feb. 7

The Village of Montrose had to wait a while to receive its financial statement for 2009 but the numbers are in and available for residents’ perusal.

Big changes in accounting policy and administrative delays held up the statement of financial information for 2009 but council received the document Monday from Soligo and Associates accountant Don Catalano.

“The change in accounting policy with regards to the capital assets took a great deal of time and resources this year, getting the statements to conform to the new standards,” said Catalano.

Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants policy changed in 2006 with 2009’s year-end being the first year standards had to be adopted.

The greatest change in the policy is that the village has to start amortizing or depreciating fixed assets where previously, capital assets would go on the books and never be visited again.

“We have to restate prior years’ numbers as if this policy has been in effect since day one,” he said.

Before the accountants could determine 2009’s statement, they first had to restate 2008’s numbers. As expected, the changes applied to the 2008 financial statement reflected a slight decrease in tangible capital assets.

The accounting gymnastics first identifies, then inventories all the village’s assets and determines useful value based on amortization.

Easier said then done, indicated Catalano, as some equipment and buildings are 40 to 50 years old and after estimating original value, accountants then had to figure out their current worth.

“It was a lot of playing with numbers and estimates and best guesses . . . But I think from this point on, we will have more reliable information or more meaningful information.”

Council approved the recommendation of staff to accept the financial statement.

The 2010 audit will begin next month and should put the village back on track to meet the deadline for this year’s financial statement due at the end of May, said administrator Kevin Chartres.

The statement of financial information is available at the village office and will be included with Montrose’s 2009 annual report at the Monday, Feb. 7, council meeting.