Guild gets advice from federal auditor

The Guild received the results of a federal audit of its spending between Oct. 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2011.

The review looked back at a challenging year, when dues collection had been cut off and was restored. It was the year we sent out refund checks to boost the number of members in good standing. It came as we fought successful legal battles on several fronts.

And the federal audit cited only a handful of minor recordkeeping violations, all of which the Guild was advised how to solve. The auditor accepted the union’s assurances it would address those issues and required no further action.

The union took in receipts of $90,598, but the audit showed issues with only $326 in spending. All were cases where receipts were missing, though the union knew what each expense was. The biggest was $150 paid to Brown’s Brewing Co. in Troy, a donation for a party held in honor of longtime photographer Luanne Ferris when a disability forced her to retire. The union provided $48.55 in pizzas and soda from Inferno to members who had to work during the 2010 holiday party, but the receipt was lost.

There were two instances of lunches for a grand total of $73 where the receipt was misplaced. One was at the Gateway Diner when the union hosted International President Bernie Lunzer; the other was a meeting at Professor Java’s. Otherwise, the union had records documenting every penny. The union does not often buy lunches, but does sometimes when lawyers or International officials visit or if members agree to serve on a committee.

The Guild also was advised to revamp the form for lost time, which is when the union pays officers or members for time taken off from work for union business. The form the union had used for decades let people check off boxes to explain what they were doing: attending a conference, preparing for a meeting, or negotiations. The government advised that the forms should provide more details rather than a checklist of options. The union has already revamped the form.

The auditor also advised the Guild that its receipt records should include the date money was received. The records show the date the union deposited money and the date a check was issued to it. Again, that change has already been made.

The union also was told to be more timely in filing a two-page form with the federal government each year. The union has an independent financial review done every year, and we’ve relied on the firm to file the form. The auditor recommended the union file the form directly to guarantee its timeliness.

The auditor told Officer Manager Dan Roesser, treasurer during the audit period, that since he had successfully and accurately calculated the dues paid and refund to every member, he was very capable of completing the form himself.

“I want to extend my personal appreciation to CWA Local 31034 for the cooperation and courtesy extended during this compliance audit,” the auditor, Jennifer Rudewicz, concluded.

Click here for the full report. Feel free to contact any officer or the union office if you have any questions.

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