Port of South Louisiana revenues increase

Published 11:45 pm Friday, October 31, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — The Port of South Louisiana, the largest tonnage port district in the western hemisphere, saw total assets increase by over $4 million and total liabilities decrease by nearly $2.5 million from May 1, 2013, to April 30, a recently released audit reported.

The Port, with facilities in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James Parishes, was audited for the one-year period by certified public accountants and consultants Kushner LaGraize LLC of Metairie.

Joy Irwin, director of local government services for the Louisiana State Auditor, confirmed an unmodified opinion and no findings related to the Port’s financial statements or questioned costs related to major federal award programs.

“We are extremely pleased with our clean audit and very proud of our finance department,” Port Executive Director Paul Aucoin said, adding the audit shows the total net position of the Port increased approximately $6.5 million during the audited period.

The Port’s operating revenues increased by 11 percent over last year and operating expenses increased by only 8 percent over last year, Aucoin added. 

Auditors said the increase in operating revenues was due to increases in wharfage fees.

The only corrective action plan advised by the audit report said while auditors were testing the data for cash disbursements, they discovered business-related reimbursements for expenses incurred from 2007-2012 were paid in 2014, which they said is not a good practice.

“We recommend the Port review and update their policies for travel reimbursement requests,” the audit states.

Port management responded by saying the Port “has updated their travel regulations to include a stipulation that all travel expenses must be submitted within 45 days from the return date of the event.”