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Audit of Mutare’s books complete

SYDNEY SAIZE IN MUTARE

The Mutare City Council has completed the auditing of its books of accounts going back to 2016, a move likely to bring back the confidence of the ratepayers and investors, Business Times can report.

The local authority had been criticised for its lack of financial transparency after its failure to provide audited accounts going back five years ago.

The City’s spokesperson, Spren Mutiwi, said the books of accounts for the past five years have now been signed off by auditors and the accounts are now current.

However, audit opinions could not be immediately obtained by the time of going to print. Generally, there are four opinions given by auditors after examining a company or council’s financial statements.

These are: qualified, unqualified, adverse and disclaimer opinions.

When there are matters that concern the auditors, including gross mistakes and misappropriations, the auditors issue out qualified and adverse opinions. These, experts said, should be avoided at all costs.

A disclaimer opinion means an auditor was unable to complete a successful and accurate audit due to some reasons.

An unqualified opinion is a clean audit report, which is the best a company can get.

It means the books of accounts are free from errors and are in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

“We’re proud to state that we have had our audited accounts updated to 2020,” Mutiwi told The Business Times this week.

“This is a great feat and I think I would be correct to say we could be the only council in the country that is this current in books of finances.”

He said the audited books of accounts had taken long to be current owing to a plethora of reasons among them financial resources to engage competent auditors and lack of will from the previous management.

Mutiwi said he hoped the development would bring confidence from residents and ratepayers and investors.

“With this openness as council, we pray investors would want to come over and do business with the council while our residents would see it fit to continue religiously paying rates as a result of our openness and transparency,” Mutiwi said.

Mutare residents groups the United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust and the Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association commended the development saying they hope service delivery would be improved across the city.

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