Continuous auditing leverages technology to test controls and to identify potential red flags in transactions as, or soon after, they occur. We will work with the Department of Finance and other stakeholders to identify high-risk transactions to develop a continuous audit program.
We undertook this audit to review cash handling practices at city departments that accept cash, check, or credit card payments for goods, services, permits, fines, or deposits. Handling cash or cash equivalents, such as checks and money orders, poses inherent risks. Reduction in on-site staff during COVID-19 increases these risks. This audit will assess controls in place to collect and record payments and safeguard assets.
Oracle Time and Labor
The city is implementing Oracle Time and Labor, part of the Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management application suite, to replace Kronos as the city’s timekeeping system. This system is tentatively scheduled to go live in March 2022. We are reviewing the implementation as it progresses to ensure that previously identified timekeeping control weaknesses and compliance risks are addressed cost-effectively.
BeltLine Special Service District Financial Review
In March 2021, Atlanta City Council approved legislation creating the the BeltLine SSD (Special Service District). The SSD is projected to collect $100 million in property taxes to supplement the BeltLine TAD (Tax Allocation District) funding, philanthropic contributions, and grants. The BeltLine SSD is a targeted tax district where commercial and multi-family property owners pay more in property taxes to fund completion of the Atlanta BeltLine trail. We undertook this audit because council approved Ordinance 21-O-0049 requiring the City Auditor’s Office to provide a financial review every two years. This is our first review.
Previous performance and financial audits identified employee benefits errors that resulted in inaccurate employee payroll deductions, delayed enrollment in benefit plans, and overpayments to healthcare providers. Our audit of the Employee Benefits Division will assess management of the benefits program, program compliance with external regulations, and efforts to manage healthcare coverage costs.
In Rem Process
We undertook this audit because Atlanta City Council heard constituent concerns regarding In Rem in March 2022 and introduced Ordinance 22-O-1253 requesting the City Auditor’s Office audit the city’s In Rem processes. The term “In Rem” means an “action against a thing,” which is used when a Code Enforcement inspection has identified a building structure as highly hazardous and unsafe. Property owners have a period of time to bring property into compliance when an order of demolition is issued.
Fire Financial Procedures
The recently appointed Fire Chief requested an audit of the department’s financial transactions between February 2018 through February 2021 to assess compliance with city policies.
OCC Subcontractor Utilization
We undertook this audit because the Atlanta City Council expressed concerns about whether the Office of Contract Compliance was meeting its goals to provide opportunities for small, minority-owned, female-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprises to participate in city contracts. The City council adopted Ordinance 22-R-3198, requesting the City Auditor’s Office review the funds spent on City contracts from 2018 – 2021, comparing the amount represented in original bids for minority subcontractor participation with amounts disbursed for completed work.
BUSINESS LICENSE AUDIT
We undertook this audit because the Office of Revenue implemented the ATLCore system during Covid-19 to streamline business license application processing and tax collection. System failures and staffing reductions resulted in a backlog of business license applications and renewals and longer processing times, leading to business owner complaints. The audit will assess policies, procedures, and practices to ensure controls are in place to administer the process consistently and in accordance with city code provisions.