Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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January 22, 2013

Visitors Bureau budget didn’t add up

Error discovered in spreadsheets

Corsicana — The Corsicana Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has been using the wrong figures to make up its budget for the last two years, according to a report presented to the Corsicana City Council Tuesday night.

The difference is about $25,000, and means the marketing and advertising budget will need to be amended, according to Paul Hooper, executive director of the Corsicana/Navarro County Chamber of Commerce.

“The wrong end of year balance was used to start the 2010/11 year,” Hooper explained.

Instead of having $152,340, the bureau actually only had $125,920. However, when the budget was made up for this year, the group had resolved to spend more on marketing and advertising. They had planned to spend $75,000 on marketing, and $47,000 on advertising. The board had approved bringing in an outside marketing expert to create a plan for marketing the city and county.

“Since the fund balance error, I can assure you those will come down,” Hooper told the council.

City council members quizzed Hooper on how much had been spend on advertising in the last year, and whether or not the CCVB had been informed. The board will be told Wednesday, he told them. In the last fiscal year, the bureau had only spent about 30 percent of its budget on marketing and advertising, which is why the budget had been increased for this year.

However, the board had resolved to have at least a $60,000 fund balance at all times, which means the marketing plan will need to be trimmed considerably to account for the error.

“I apologize for the error, it’s been there almost two years,” Hooper told the council.

The accounting problem was discovered by Hooper as he was going over a budget amendment, and looking at the audit. The auditors didn’t catch the problem, but Hooper did when he realized it didn’t add up correctly.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” to this story? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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