LOS LUNAS — The village of Los Lunas received an unmodified or “clean” audit for the 2021 fiscal year with no findings as presented to the council during its May 19 meeting.

“I know they have stringent requirements of staff, and you trained them well,” Los Lunas Mayor Charles Griego said to the village’s finance director Rebecca Klein. “I think we have certain levels of expectancy that the people need to follow and … it can be difficult to do, difficult to follow, and we do appreciate your efforts.”

Although Patillo, Brown and Hill, L.L.P officially conducted the audit, the village of Los Lunas’ finance department prepared the annual financial report, a task in which Chris Garner, a partner with the finance organization, estimates only about 10 percent of agencies in New Mexico do on its own.

“The one thing I think that you should take some pride in, because in New Mexico, not a lot of entities have the ability to draft their own financial statements with all the standards you have to follow,” Garner said. “In New Mexico, it is complicated — you go from one basis of accounting to another.”

This was the first year in which the report was prepared internally by the village.

Garner, who presented the audit to the village council, said the unmodified opinion is the highest standard in which the auditors can give an organization.

In the financial statement, prepared by the village, is a GAGAS report or “yellow book report,” which looks at samples from the cycle and tests internal controls with even more requirements set by the state auditor’s office, such as travel, procurement and use of credit cards.

“Even with the expanded testing that the state auditor and the regular yellow book requires — no findings, no exceptions,” Garner said. “What that tells the council is that with your internal controls that management and personnel are following procedures that have been established and written out.”

The council unanimously accepted and approved the annual audit after praising Klein and her staff for their work.

Also during the meeting, the council unanimously approved the village’s budget for fiscal year 2023, ahead of the June 1 deadline to submit to the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration for approval.

The council also approved an internal loan from the general fund to the water and sewer fund for $542,264 to purchase a new Vactor truck used to service wastewater lift stations monthly. The loan will be paid back to the general fund over the next three years at zero percent interest.

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Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.