April 22, 2014 9:54:25 AM
The Columbus Lowndes Convention and Visitor's Bureau has received a clean audit on their finances from the 2012-13 fiscal year.
CVB accountant Tom Buckley of T.E. Lott reported that the audit, conducted by Watkins, Ward and Stafford, found one minor deficiency. The only irregularity was that the CVB's main checking account and savings account were not reconciled to the general ledger on a monthly basis, which resulted in misstated financial statements.
The CVB saw a $177,763 increase in assets in 2012-13 when compared to 2011-12, according to the audit. This includes $1,528,384 in assets and $497,051 in liabilities for a net position of $1,031,333.
Buckley noted that the 2011-12 audit found no deficiencies at all, meaning there has only been one minor issue reported in the past two fiscal years and the CVB is practicing responsible financial management.
"You have three levels of findings in internal control, and they did have one small one at the lowest level," Buckley said. "The previous year, they had no findings they just had that small one. They're in good shape."
The results come from financial data from Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013.
Carpenter optimistic about Pilgrimage participation
CVB Executive Director Nancy Carpenter reported that over 45,000 people attended the Wings Over Columbus air show over two days earlier this month. The CVB was the presenting sponsor of that event and paid $25,000 to the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation, which ran that event as well as Catfish in the Alley and Pilgrimage.
Despite unseasonably cool temperatures and high rain totals, guests from 37 states and eight countries attended events held during Pilgrimage, Carpenter said. The event's kick-off party had over 500 in attendance while 1,669 people turned out for Tales from the Crypt, generating $2,100 that was split with the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. More than 325 people ran in the first Columbus Piligrimage Half Marathon and 5K, she said, which resulted in an even break between the $13,000 to hold the event and the same amount generated from it. She said she expects future 5K events to have 500 runners.
Pilgrimage events totaled over 10,000 visitors. A financial report will be presented in May.
"When you include 40,000 from the air show, over 1,200 from the Mayor's Unity Picnic and good numbers from the Girlchoir Kitchen Tour, we are really happy with our results," Carpenter said. "The staff is to be commended on doing an extremely good job."
In other business, the board:
■ Voted in favor of Carpenter's recommendation to fund the first half ($4,000) of Southside-Townsend Festival and the Crawford Cotton Boll Festival and
■ Heard a grant proposal from William Harris on consideration of funding the Southside Heritage Foundation Festival. The CVB board will decide whether or not to fund the festival next month. Harris asked for $3,353.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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