EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler is commending the Madison County Transit Board for taking steps to change its outside auditing firm.

“Last week, after 40 years with the same auditing firm, the MCT Board approved a resolution to seek a new auditor every five years,” Prenzler said.

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Prenzler said one of the first things he looks at when evaluating a governmental unit is how often the outside auditing firm is changed. In July, Prenzler plans to propose a similar change for Madison County.

“When I appointed members to the MCT board, this is one of the goals that I wanted to see happen,” Prenzler said. “I’m pleased they are making this change and I want to see our county take the same step.”

State law stipulates county governments submit to an annual audit by an independent CPA.

Many governmental units change outside auditors every five to six years. Those following this “best practice” in Illinois include the state, Champaign, McLean, Peoria and Sangamon counties; and in Missouri, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

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“As a certified public accountant, I know that CPAs must be independent,” Prenzler said. “It’s human nature when people work together for a long time, they develop relationships, and the danger is they lose objectivity.”

For more than 20 years, Madison County has used the same CPA firm. On July 15, a resolution will go before the Finance and Government Operations Committee to rotate CPA firms every six years.

“This is not a negative comment on the current auditor,” Prenzler said. “You can have the best CPA in the world, but it’s best practice to have a new set of eyes on the books every five to six years.”

Prenzler said when private business owners choose to keep the same auditing firm for 40 years – that’s their prerogative, but government should be under stricter rules. In 2016, Prenzler advocated for changing the county’s CPA firm, but the board voted to continue with the same firm for another four years.

“Changing outside auditors every five to six years is a good government practice,” he said.


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