Controller concerned about Philly’s accounting errors

Philadelphia’s city controller is concerned about errors in accounting practices.

A report from City Controller Alan Butkovitz says $1.4 billion worth of adjustments to the city’s financial statements were made after his office’s review. He says he’s concerned by the mistakes.

“Either they say that the owe more than they do owe, or that they owe less than they do owe and vice versa,” he said Monday. “These are errors to both the plus and minus sides of the ledger, but they are significant in the way that the bond rating agencies view the risk to people who buy city bonds.”

Finance Director Rob Dubow says the mistakes are nothing to be concerned about.

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“There’s no missing money,” he said. “Taxpayers don’t have to worry that money is going out the door, it’s just about how we do accounting entries.

“We go through this every year with the controller. It’s kind of a routine part of his audit, and we work with them so that when they finds issues, we correct them.”

Butkovitz said it’s not his job to find errors. He said the city accountants should locate mistakes.

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