"Audits can be scary and stressful, but Paulette ensures the process is stress-free and clients understand it’s not about finding errors but identifying opportunities to improve operations. "
Paulette A. Clarke-McFarland knows most professionals fear an auditor. That’s why the manager of audit and assurance services at Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) asserts in her first interaction with a client that she’s not there to pull them down but to build them up. It’s a practice that’s helped Paulette retain clients for a long time, some of who have collaborated with her for more than 20 years.
Paulette specializes in performing Single Audits under Uniform Guidance for not-for-profits, and preparing their IRS Forms 990 and 990-Ts. Since many of her clients receive grant awards from federal agencies, Paulette has carved out a niche in ensuring not-for-profits remain compliant when administering any government funds
Testing internal controls is a vital part of any audit, and it’s an area she focuses much of her time on because of the work not-for-profits perform. That includes helping leadership implement and execute internal controls more consistently while making recommendations to adjust their segregation of duties to safeguard spending of federally awarded money.
Paulette joined CBM when the firm merged in Drolet & Associates, PLLC, where she was an auditor and an audit manager for 14 years. Before that, she was an accounting manager and staff supervisor for a not-for-profit with specific knowledge of grant reporting requirements for OMB Circulars A-110, A-113, and A-122. The U.S. Army and District of Columbia National Guard veteran also served as an accounting specialist with experience in governmental accounting.
While her parents always taught her to work hard and give her best, her daughters and grandson are her primary influence. Paulette dreams of returning to her home country of Jamaica, where she enjoys unwinding on the beaches around Montego Bay and making her long-awaited trip to Paris (a venture in the works since she was vice president of her high school’s foreign exchange program). Her favorite pastime, though, is reading romance novels. While historical romance stories are among her favorites (Johanna Lindsey is her go-to-author), she’s been trending into the contemporary space more recently.