On Monday evening the Utah Pride Center held its monthly board of directors meeting and discussed the results of the financial audit performed for the 2013 calendar year. The audit was contracted by the Pride Center and paid for by a directed donation from Jane Marquardt. It was performed by Christine Arthur, CPA of the firm Arthur and Jensen of Salt Lake City.
This disclosure comes over five months after the original promised date of November 30, 2013. Board chair John Netto publicly apologized during the meeting for making the promise upon which he was unable to deliver.
In addition to the financial information, the auditor’s report contained several recommendations regarding accounting controls and internal practices to be adopted by Utah Pride. By unanimous vote, both the recommendations and the audit reports were accepted, though the specifics were not revealed to the public. The motions to adopt referenced “recommendations made within the report,” which are to be released to the public after Utah Pride has had an opportunity to redact anything they categorize as “trade secrets.”
UPC Executive Director Steven Ha announced that it is his goal for Utah Pride to achieve a “gold star” rating from GuideStar, an organization that maintains and publishes data from non-profits around the nation. GuideStar is the commonly accepted standard by which non-profits are evaluated by foundations and individuals for grants and donations.
It was explained during the meeting that the financial crisis that led to the lay-off of two employees and salary reduction of remaining employees last October was the result of monies not being properly accounted for internally. Essentially, it was explained, that there was an error in accounting for in-kind donations on the new building and incorrect allocation of monies restricted to the Capital Campaign. This accounting error led management to believe that more cash was available in the operating accounts than was actually there.
The board reported that an entirely new accounting structure has been put in place and that this error should not happen again. A CPA has been contracted to provide a brief audit of the financials on a monthly basis and all departments will undergo a quarterly budget review. Ha added that at the time of the lay-offs the cash reserve was under 30 days. Currently, that reserve is at 70 days and it is his goal to bring that reserve to 6 months before any significant expansion of programs and costs.
Additionally, the board accepted the resignation of board secretary Marva Match and elected Jon Jepsen as her replacement. They also welcomed three new board members: Greg Jaboin, Kathleen Boyd and Jason Suker.
Ha also announced new partnerships with the Utah Department of Corrections to conduct policy, advocacy, and mental health services for LGBTQ clients in the corrections system and with the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Justice to assist in training school and district personnel in appropriate ways to respond to reported bias crimes against LGBTQ youth. Both are expected to result in fee-for-services contracts with UPC.
QSalt Lake will publish additional information about the audit and recommendations as it becomes available from Utah Pride.