Key Audit Findings & Recommendations
As you are all aware it is vitally important that timely and accurate financial reports are essential for the proper and effective management of every entity, authority, commercial enterprise and even unincorporated entities. As part of this Bro Treasurer has worked tirelessly during the year to prepare the 2017-18 Lodge Devotion Financial Accounts, which we have been asked to review.
We have conducted the annual review of the 2017- 2018 Annual Financial Report and prior to tabling our final formal opinions on the 2017-18 Financial Accounts we would like to draw the following matters to the attention of the new Worshipful Master and the attention of all Brethren.
Our Most Very Serious and Very Concerning Concern
· Audit Fees: By far and away the most serious concern relating to the 2017-18 Annual Financial Accounts is the complete absence of any audit fees payable to the auditors. AASB 54 specifies that payments for audit fees be fully disclosed and as such we draw all members attention to the fact that we have NOT been paid !
This non-payment to Auditors is not acceptable allowing for considerable time and effort we have invested for the good of all members
We jointly recommended that immediate payment be approved and cash deposited in two separate brown paper bags placed behind the dump master immediately after this meeting!
Brethren - it is very important point to highlight that expenditure on refreshments has gone down, not up as would be expected in a properly managed and well functioning lodge.
As auditors we would like to draw this matter to the attention of the new Worshipful Master and request that this matter be addressed as a matter of urgency while we still have a properly managed and well functioning Lodge.
Furthermore, we also recommend that this matter be placed as the primary Key Performance Indicator on the current Worshipful Secretary and Junior Wardens Annual Performance Assessment and we look forward to reviewing performance next year against this very important deliverable.
Brethren…it should be noted that no payments have been made to Worshipful Brother Secretary in either 2016/17 or 2017/18 and this has not gone unnoticed.
Secretarial services, is the one area of the accounts where we as Auditors have identified a significant opportunity. Based on Worshipful Brother Hudson’s propensity to develop and circulate spreadsheets we propose that a fine of $50 be levied for each spreadsheet circulated to members and based on past experience this could be a significant revenue raising opportunity for the Lodge.
It is noted that rent was paid during the year to the Collingwood Masonic Centre (CMC) and this presents outstanding value allowing for such an important and historical building.
Based on this outstanding value it is recommended that the Lodge Devotion write to the MWGM commending the President of the Collingwood Masonic Centre for his outstanding achievements for Freemasonry in general and the Collingwood Masonic Centre in particular. The letter could also make a mention of the President of CMC’s significant contribution to masonic ritual throughout the State of Victoria !! (*cough* *cough*)
Brethren….as auditors we are both very concerned about the complete absence of coloured jelly babies (and the black jelly babies in particular) on the sweety table and highlight that this matter be resolved as a matter of urgency and if left unresolved it may significantly jeopardise our ability as auditors to issue a true and fair opinion of the 2018 -19 accounts of Lodge Devotion.
· Tyler Expenses:
It is very concerning to highlight Tyler Expenses during the year and that alternative options could be considered.
However, a recent example of an experienced Past Master stepping up to the line and volunteering his free services provided a very bad example of the cost savings that could be achieved in this area. The Tyler’s place …. “ is outside the lodge “ but in this instance, although he was placed outside, all members could hear him very clearly in the lodge as his booming voice made the members feel that he was within the lodge …. Which as we all know - is very improper !! Hence, we strongly recommend that we should not review this line expenditure ever in the future.
Brethren…is has been noted by us auditors that there has been a $559.50 reduction on regalia expenses from 2016-17 to 2017-18.
Regalia is in effect a Masonic uniform and as auditors we are very keen to achieve a high standard whilst achieving savings in this area.
As auditors we have observed the uniform of customers in the hotel across the road and we assume that they have achieved considerable cost savings by having leather worn as their uniform.
With a view to ascertaining potential savings in this area it is recommended that the Worshipful Master instruct a Worthy Brother to visit the hotel across the road and conduct an in-depth survey to identify where they source their uniforms and update all brethren on any potential saving that can be achieved in sourcing uniforms and regalia in the future.
Brethren. …based on the numbers presented in the 2017-18 Audited Accounts there has been a saving of over $791 on installation cost and we extend our full appreciation to the WIPM for his considerable achievements in this area.
Further savings can be expected in this area in 2018-19 onwards thanks to Victoria Police and Vic Roads “0.05 campaign”
Brethren…as professional accountants with over 30 year’s experience each (more than 60 years in total) we understand the importance of sundry expenses relative to the overall expenditure profile of an entity.
On occasion accountants often use this area to “hide” expenditure that accountants would prefer to remain hidden and we note that this is not the case in the 2017-18 Audited Accounts.
Accounting protocol usually states that sundry expenses should not be more that 5% of total expenses and we commend Brother Treasurer for achieving an even higher standard of less than 1 % …well done Brother Treasurer !
· Accounting Standards:
Brethren as a final point we note that the 2017-2018 Lodge Devotion Annual Financial Accounts have been prepared to the highest standards ever and that this coincided with Bro Treasurer’s extend holiday overseas.
We can only conclude that this improvement is directly attributable to Bro Treasurer being overseas and for the good of Freemasonry in general and Lodge Devotion in particular we encourage him to take as many overseas holidays as possible.
Worshipful Master this concludes our review of the Lodge Devotion 2017-18 Annual Financial Accounts and we are pleased to report that in our opinion the Lodge Devotion 723 Annual Audit Report provides a true and fair view of the financial position of Lodge Devotion and recommended that the Audited Accounts be approved as a true and fair record of Lodge Devotions activities in 2017/18.
Finally, we jointly move and second that the accounts and recommendations be adopted.