Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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April 2, 2014

Second chances for PVGH — With so much faith being placed in PVGH when it comes to second chances, a recent set of audits are coming in at just the right time.

It was during a recent meeting of the PV Hospital Authority that members learned how lucky they really were.

Much of the discussion by the two accountants handling the process, Trent Pettus and Taylor Gilpin, talked about how they were very fortunate the mistakes that were made managed to not turn up legal troubles beyond bankruptcy.

“We did not find anything that appeared to be fraud while we were testing,” said Pettus. “We also did not test every transaction throughout the year so there’s always the possibility.”

One of those issues that could have allowed such a scenario dealt with those who had access to cash or the accounts, according to Pettus. They noted how it did not result in harmful activity, but would have made it easy to conceal something even if unintentional.

“One thing we point out is that although we are not engaged to search every transaction for fraud we would report it to those in charge of governance if we found anything,” said Gilpin

"There wasn’t anything that appeared to be an intentional diversion of assets or misuse of funds.”

This area raised flags because the people who were there to sign checks for something like a purchase order did not always follow the same protocol. They felt this came from not having the necessary extra set of eyes or more to make sure that was being done properly.

“Our recommendation there is that anyone in the accounting department that can submit an invoice for payment… there should be a second layer of review on the check runs to make sure all cash flows have been approved,” said Gilpin.

Payroll taxes was another problem area for the hospital and involved money withheld from employees for taxes. It is usually supposed to be sent in within a couple of weeks to the treasury department, but that did not occur for extended periods of time either.

At one point, June 30, 2013, the hospital was liable for $775,000, which included late withholdings and taxes, noted Gilpin. A significant portion of this could be handled by their bankruptcy, but that still has to be decided by a judge.

“That includes penalties and interest, which as you know continues to get worse as time goes on,” said Gilpin.

“That has been corrected in that the current payroll holdings are being sent in on time.”

One of the last things that was recommended for correction dealt with a record retention issue, or proof that something had taken place be it an invoice or opinion given. They don’t think it was done as a way to hide or cover up anything, but simply came down to misplacing records as people changed offices or needed information was not passed on when a new person came into a position.

“We recommended going forward there should be better controls in place,” said Gilpin.

“Maintain your invoices to know this is where we keep all the paid invoices and this is where they can be located.”

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