The office of Rodger Smitherman – a Democrat from Birmingham, Alabama, who used to be the president pro tempore of the state Senate – was recently cited by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts for keeping incomplete, disorganized records, according to the Gadsden Times.
An accounts payable audit found that some vendors were not paid on time, while others received duplicate payments. Necessary accounting records were also missing from the office, raising questions about whether they had been improperly destroyed or relocated.
The previous pro tem's office was advised to implement a system of monthly accounting reconciliations to prevent further problems, but the news source reports that the advice went unheeded.
In response to the latest findings, spokesman Philip Bryan indicated that the state comptroller and finance department are collaborating with a new bookkeeper to address the issues highlighted in the audit.
"We will have checks and balances to ensure that we do things appropriately," said Bryan, as quoted by the news source.
Conducting regular AP audits can allow shortcomings to be identified and rectified, minimizing the potential for duplicate payments to occur.