Julie and I made the mistake of insisting to help the accounting department prepare for our upcoming audit. After resisting and resisting, Brandy determined that in fact it would be helpful if Julie and I reviewed "some" admin financial records. Much to my dismay, I found an 18" stack of really hairy files on Julie's desk on Wednesday with a note to try to get through them by Friday. It didn't take long to 1) remember why I ended up with an English degree, 2) realize what a short attention span I have, and 3) how important our accounting team is. We looked through phone bills, payroll transfers, supply purchases, insurance invoices, maintenance contracts, etc., etc., etc.. We had to determine that every purchase from a $.47 portion of a bill to thousands of dollars purchases were documented, approved, and allowable. My head hurts just thinking about it but it sure had me paying attention to our purchasing processes and the care with which we must spend the grant and donor dollars for which we are responsible. We spend $16 million dollars every year and much of that is in the form of purchases less than $100. That is a LOT of transactions. I can't fully express my newfound appreciation for all of you that make sure to follow our policies to a "t", and our accounting team for double checking every single transaction. Audit time is a stressful season for this team and I hope you give them a pat on the back if you're around central office or some happy vibes if you're not.
Back in more familiar territory I had some really nice reminders this week of how supportive the business community can be. It is too easy to lump organizations into buckets like "us" nonprofits and "those" for profit companies as if we don't want the same things for our communities, our families, and our employers. Dan Westhues, VP at Central Bank of Jefferson City, and Dale Tidemann, Plant Manager for 3M in Columbia are shining examples of the integration of corporate goodwill and personal community leadership. In our conversations this week they shared their personal interests and professional connections in ways that displayed their commitment to the education, health, and well-being of everybody in our communities. Clearly they recognized that we all do better when we all do better. They were taken with our mission and pledged their support. There are thousands and thousands of equally committed leaders and community members across central Missouri and I hope to give every one of them the opportunity to share our vision.
Everything starts with you. Thanks for all you do and keep up the great work!