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A state audit released Tuesday shows several financial reporting inconsistencies involving millions of dollars at the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The problems stem from untimely financial reporting but "there is no money missing," said DABC director Sal Petilos.

The DABC liquor commission requested that State Auditor John Dougall look into the problem when questions about a new computer system arose last year.

From July through December 2016, "DABC did not record approximately $216 million in revenue or $118 million in cost of goods," according to the audit presented to the state liquor commission. The "material inconsistencies" continued into January 2017, according to the audit, "ranging from $26 million to $308 million in various reporting line items."

The errors persisted for "an unacceptably long time because the DABC's Finance Division did not perform a monthly close of the system," the audit states. Closing the books at the end of each month is industry standard and when DABC starts doing that — which the department says it has — "the possibility of future significant errors would be greatly reduced."

The implementation of a new computer system caused the "multi-million dollar errors in the state's general ledger," Sean Clayton, with the auditor's office, told the commission.

"Going live" with the new system knowing it was not completely ready while at the same time "discontinuing the use of the old system before complete end-to-end testing" caused the errors, Clayton said.

At the time of the switch, many restaurant and bar owners complained that they were unable to get accurate liquor shipments. The switch occurred during the Outdoor Retailer show, one of the busiest times for restaurants in Salt Lake City.

In recent months, the situation has been more stable.

Petilos acknowledged that the new system impacted operation, but at the time, the department faced a difficult choice between continuing with the "unsupported legacy system" or "implementing a new, yet supported" one. He said the decision to switch was made in consultation with the state IT team that "brings 149 years of IT experience to the table."

When problems surfaced, the department called state auditors for help, said commissioner Neal Berube.

"Even though the operation committee had questions," said Berube, the commission never suspected misappropriation of funds. Berube, the president and CEO of Associated Food Stores, blamed lack of funding from the state legislature.

"If the State of Utah expects us to be run like a business, then they need treat us like a business," he said. "There are many constraints here that are not part of a normal business situation."

The audit also suggested improvement in the DABC's Finance Division, which "appears to lack the appropriate knowledge of retail and government accounting."

The auditor's office analyzed the workload, education and career path of the six division employees and found that:

• Accounting expertise is limited;

• Minimal opportunities for continuing education related to accounting;

• High turnover in key division director positions, which has led to decreased confidence in management;

• The division failed to implement key recommendations from previous audits.