County on financial upswing

Published 7:50 pm Friday, January 30, 2015

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners was presented an auditor’s report Tuesday for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2014, and findings revealed the county was on a financial upswing.
“This year, unlike some other years, it’s a pleasure to report some positive financial numbers,” said Ben Lee, an advisor with Coastal CPAs. “The county’s net financial position for Fiscal Year 2014 increased by $2,983,127. That’s a nice jump.”
According to the report, the county’s governmental activities increased by $2.4 million and business activities increased by $940,971. Lee said the main increase behind the business type activities was the Decatur County Landfill, which had a net profit of $1.2 million for the year.
The county’s general fund resources were $281,224 more than what was budgeted, and the expenditures were $269,286 less than what was budgeted, making the general fund revenues on the actual for the year exceed expenditures by $528,603.
“In some terms, in a private business, that’s like recognizing a profit,” Lee said.
Total assets for Decatur County at June 30, 2014 were $57.7 million and total liabilities were $12.2 million, giving the county a net position of $45.5 million.
Every department in the county was under budget,” Lee said. “That’s a phenomenal job by a lot of people. That’s real good to see the county is back on its upper trend.”
Despite the upswing, Lee did recommend an update to the county’s cash management policies, noting they are inconsistent.
Lee also emphasized the importance of developing an anti-fraud program. He gave an example of an employee creating a fictitious invoice within a company and entering it into the finance system.
“They may go through every control check you have and the check is written to pay that bill,” Lee said. “Well, that check is in the financial statements, so those financial statements could be fairly stated because everything (was perfect). You just don’t know that was a fictitious invoice. That’s a big fraud risk.”
Lee offered to return at another date to present more information on a fraud deterrent system for Decatur County.

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