Re: Expense reimbursement
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2021 12:10:03 -0700 (PDT)
> On Sep 14, 2021, at 2:04 PM, Kelly Bachman <happyvalleykelly [at]> 
> wrote:
> Instead of an audit by an independent accountant, we have an annual *internal
> audit* that specifically addresses internal controls to prevent and detect
> fraud and is performed by community members.  We have our internal audit
> reviewed by an independent accountant for process and results and they
> provide us with recommendations to improve internal controls or improve the
> process of the internal audit.  This only costs a couple of hours of
> consulting time.  One internal control principle is segregation of duties.
> So the person who writes checks for reimbursement does not make deposits or
> do the dues billing.

So you do all your accounting in house? 

We still use a management company to handle the finances but it seems that we 
already do all the work of managing forms and receipts and then spend time 
reviewing and correcting their accounting and figuring out why the utilities 
haven’t been paid.

So we have team budget people who review expenditures, a community treasurer 
who reviews them, an admin team that reviews, several members who by 
personality review everything, and then we have an audit. 

This is almost $20,000 a year of overhead including the cost of the audit. 
Personally, I’ve yet to see an advantage but it seems to make some people feel 
more professional. It’s possible the auditor has found some corrections of 
which I’m unaware but I am very aware of bills not being paid, bank accounts 
transferred without transferring the debit cards, accounting of reimbursements 
to the wrong accounts, etc. With all the online services now, which they use 
too, it doesn’t seem like that much work. It adds a layer of communications 
energy as well as cost.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.