In some respects, a forensic audit, such as the Ocean Pines Association is about to undergo, is like an autopsy and executive physical rolled into one: the autopsy shows what went wrong, while the comprehensive physical determines whether that same thing is likely to happen again … if left untreated.
But also like the executive physical, with its medley of scans and tests, the forensic audit should leave the client feeling well-cared for even when it finds nothing of great concern.
What Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates will discover as it pores over OPA finances, practices and policies, of course, is impossible to say.
It is probable, however, that the auditors will encounter instances when poor decisions were made, policy wasn’t followed or oversight wasn’t what it should have been.
But because there’s no such thing as operational perfection in any institution or business, that also would be the case in a detailed examination of any subject’s financial and management circumstances.
Besides, showing what happened and when is not the sole purpose of this exercise, although most everyone surely is curious about what the audit will reveal.
More important at this juncture are the recommendations that Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates might make regarding how to allay the concerns of an association membership that frequently feels that this or any other board of directors is up to something.
The act of auditing itself is a huge step is the right direction. Regardless of what it finds, good or bad, it will have fulfilled its main purpose — reassuring residents that this board of directors is doing the best it can with a financial condition it inherited.