Consultants from the accounting firm JPMS Cox, PLLC met with city officials Monday night to report updates on the progress of the City of Conway’s financial audit.

David Mosley, a consultant with JPMS Cox, said the 2009 audit is incomplete, but that the firm is making progress.

"It’s not finished, but I feel like we’re picking up momentum," Mosley said. "We’re actually kind of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."

Mosley said the focus of most of the work to date has been on reconciliations between information gathered from the work of former city CFO Robin Scott, who resigned amid budget problems in February, and the current efforts of interim CFO Lowell McClanahan and his staff.  

"We’ve been working to sort of bridge that gap and find out what’s in there," Mosley said.

Mosley said the next phase will include a drafting of financial reports based on the findings of McClanahan, who said he has "no criticism" for the work of Scott.

"So far, I’ve found nothing in my audit that I would consider evidence of inpropriety," McClanahan reported. "Nothing seems out of the normal. It’s all consistent with the ups and downs of any financial reserve."

McClanahan said that he and his staff have worked to make sure that a number of things are "procedurally better."

"Every bond account is reconciled up through May," McClanahan reported. "We’ve set up all new bank accounts, so there are no two funds in the same account, which is a huge help in projecting cash flow."

Mayor Tab Townsell said the search for a full-time CFO has been put on hold.

"We’ve kind of paused it," Townsell said. "Lowell is bringing more of an aspect of corporate accounting instead of sort of laid-back government accounting and he’s doing a great job."

McClanahan has been retired since 1997, and his last job was as CFO of a division of global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb.

McClanahan said that he and his staff are committed to doing "whatever it takes" to reconcile the city’s accounts.  

"The most important thing is that it’s fixed," McClanahan said. "I’ve enjoyed doing it. I’m not going anywhere."  

(Staff writer Megan Reynolds can be reached by e-mail at megan.reynolds@thecabin.net or by phone at (501) 505-1277. To comment on this story and others, visit www.thecabin.net)