Audit finding released
Polk County’s financial audit for 2012 contained a number of findings relating to the financial statements of county government offices, including findings from previous years that have not been corrected.
Polk County’s financial audit for 2012 contained a number of findings relating to the financial statements of county government offices, including findings from previous years that have not been corrected. The State Comptroller’s Office released the report, which also includes a recurring audit finding that has shown up for three or more consecutive years – that the county budget director did not maintain accounting records for the Road Department.
The report recommends a central system of accounting, budgeting, and purchasing for all departments should be adopted by the county. The report says Polk County operates under the provisions of the Fiscal Control Acts of 1957, which provide for a central system of accounting, budgeting, and purchasing for all funds administered by the county executive and highway superintendent, but exclude the school system. However, funds in the road department are maintained by employees of that department.
“Sound business practices dictate that establishing a central system for all departments would significantly improve internal controls over the accounting, budgeting, and purchasing processes,” the report says. The Comptroller’s office notes that an absence of a central system of accounting has been a management decision by the County Commission and recommends the adoption of the County Financial Management System on 1981 or a private act to provide for a central system of accounting, budgeting, and purchasing for all county departments.
Items not corrected from 2011 included a lack of adequate records for state and federal grants in the County Executive’s Office and an inadequate segregation of duties in the office of County Executive, Road Department, County Clerk, Court Clerk, Clerk and Master, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, and food service department. Expenditures exceeded appropriations for both the school system and county government. Auditors reported multiple people using the same cash drawer in the court clerk’s office and in the Sheriff’s Department, some collections were not deposited within three days of receipt.
For 2012, auditors noted the failure of management to correct record-keeping for state and federal money in 2011 as reason for it to be cited again. Also noted in the County Executive’s Office was that invoices were sometimes paid without proper documentation. The state recommended purchasing procedures be properly managed to decrease the risk of paying for something never received.
Expenditures exceeded appropriations in the road department by $16,978 for 2012. The report says the deficiency exists because management (then-superintendent Harold Hood) failed to present a final budget amendment to the county commission for approval. Only the amendments approved by the commission were included in the financial statements of the report.
Expenditures also exceeded appropriations in the school system. Amounts overspent included $3730 in the Vocation Education Department, $34,083 in the Adult Education Department, $52,813 in Support Services and $52,988 in Capitol Outlay. The report notes this deficiency exists because management failed to hold spending within the limits authorized by the county commission.
In the Trustee and Register of Deeds offices auditors found usernames and passwords being shared by employees. It was recommended each employee use their own password; both offices discontinued the practice of sharing passwords when it was brought to the attention of management.
Polk County News | P.O.
Box 129 | 3 Main Street | Benton TN 37307
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