By Kellen M. Quigley
Beginning in 2019, Berry & Berry CPA will no longer be the accountants and auditors of the Town of Great Valley.
At its regular meeting last week, the town board voted 3-1, with one abstention, to end its decades-long affiliation with the accounting firm effective Dec. 31, 2018.
On Jan. 1, 2019, Tronconi Segarra & Associates LLP are expected to be the town’s new accountants.
“This is a huge moment for this town, as the Berrys were town accountants for over 20 years,” said Town Supervisor Daniel Brown. “In light of the sales tax issue, I personally feel we owed it to the taxpayers to go in a different direction.”
Brown said Andy Toth would likely be the accountant from Tronconi Segarra & Associates the town would work with. He said Toth was a big help during the sales tax issue this past winter.
“The financial costs of the actual accounting is the same,” he explained. “Where it would cost more money is if we decided to go with a check-writing company and other expenses along those lines.” Brown said his secretary, Hildegarde Krause, can do most of that work.
Because Tronconi Segarra & Associates use a different accounting software than currently used by the town, Brown said they would have to pay to install a new program, which would be about $300.
Along with Brown, board members Jerry Musall and Becky Krysinski voted to replace the Berrys.
“I think we’d be doing an injustice to the people of this town if we didn’t make a move,” Krysinski said.
Board member Laury Finch voted no, while Sandy Goode abstained.
“I don’t blame (the Berrys) for the sales tax issue,” Goode explained. “It wasn’t just their fault. … I’m not saying Andy would do a bad job, I’m just saying I don’t see anything wrong with the Berrys.”
With the town’s 2019 budget expected to be so so different due to the solution to the sales tax issue, Finch said the town should keep the Berrys for that process because they are familiar with the town’s fiscal history.
“We’re going to need a lot of help with it,” she added.
Until Tronconi Segarra & Associates take over, Brown said copies of all the town’s financial reports and statements should be made so both Toth and Moon have the same information the Berrys receive in order to make the transition smoother.
Krysinski said the Berrys are a three-person family operation and it would be tough for them to handle the town if something were to happen to one of them. She said on the other hand, all of Tronconi Segarra & Associates would have access to the town’s reports, not just Toth.
“I will talk to the Berrys and explain the situation and tell them they can be affiliated with the town until the end of the year,” Brown said.