Reader Opinion: Where were the CPAs?

Crow Wing Power’s certified public accounting (CPA) firm has been engaged for 30 plus years with apparently no rotation of firms. While I am not a financial professional, I don’t recall ever hearing of an audit concern mentioned in the publicly issued reports to Crow Wing Power members. The question is why were the recently disclosed bonus payments involving millions of dollars never challenged by the CPA firm? While I heard that the CPA firm stated at the last annual meeting that they did not audit all of CWP’s subsidiaries, I wonder why? You must also question what is the relationship between the CPA firm and CWP management?

I believe that the CPA firm’s role is to act as an independent audit professional and provide the owners (the members) of Crow Wing Power comfort that the reported financials are reasonably stated and in compliance with all laws, as well as validating the control structure is functioning correctly.

In my opinion, it appears that the lack of good controls at CWP have resulted in significant unauthorized and undisclosed payments to management (as stated publicly by CWP director Bryan McCulloch at the 2019 annual meeting, the board was only made aware of Kramer’s $1.9 million payment two days before the meeting in 2019 with the disclosure in the CWP Brainerd Dispatch ad). The actions of the CPA firm should definitely be included in any forensic audit.

Lisa Fischer


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