Stephens Co. Receives Clean FY 2013 Audit

Stephens County receives a clean audit report for Fiscal Year 2013.

County Administrator Phyllis Ayers presented the audit findings to county commissioners at their meeting last Tuesday.

Ayers said that Mauldin and Jenkins of Atlanta provided a clean finding to the county on the audit, which is what a government wants to receive in its audit report.

She said the report has a lot of positives.

“We did not have but one audit finding,” said Ayers.  “It is the one we have every year, segregation of duties, because we cannot possibly hire enough people, to keep costs down and millage rate down, to segregate every duty of every financial office.  Then, there were no adjusting of entries in the county’s books by the auditors.  Our finance department is very proud of that.”

Ayers did say that the audit report confirms that the county did have to dip into its fund balance in Fiscal Year 2013 to balance the budget.

“We ended the year with revenues at about 91 percent of budget, which means they were short about 9 percent,” said Ayers.  “Expenditures were at about 95 percent of budget, which means we spent more than we had in revenue, but we did not spend 100 percent of budget.  That means we used our fund balance.”

Ayers said the county spent $660,000 of its fund balance.

“For me, I think that is the first time in 10 or 11 years, we have actually used fund balance,” she said.

Stephens County had budgeted to use fund balance in Fiscal Year 2013, so Ayers says it was not a surprise.

She noted that the county had budgeted to use a little over $1 million in fund balance last fiscal year, but used less because the closing of the landfill was not completed in Fiscal Year 2013, so some of those costs will carry over into this current fiscal year.

Ayers said that the county has again budgeted to use more than $1 million in fund balance in Fiscal Year 2014 to balance the budget, and so far, she says that the budget is right on track with projections.

As a result, Ayers said it looks likely the county will be using that fund balance to balance the budget again this fiscal year.