County finally gets good look at finances
audit back on track
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[August 15, 2008]
Logan County officials are
getting their first look in years at more solid financial numbers.
Auditor Helen G. Barrick, from Clifton, Gunderson, LLP, CPA and
Consultants, presented a preliminary draft of the 2007 audit during
the Thursday morning county finance committee meeting.
The 2007 audit is the first in several years that will come in on
time, and it represents the third annual audit that would be
completed this year. Audits fell behind due to accounting
complications after the county changed software and computer systems
Barrick told committee members, "I know you had to do
this budget almost in the blind. You did a fabulous job."
She said that the audit was created while working through the
ills of the old computer system but that it would be getting better
this year, with little of that problem remaining for the following
Barrick said that there may be some shifting of figures after the
county department heads finish their review. They know what certain
figures were used for and where they might need to be moved. This
would not affect the bottom line.
She said, "I think these numbers are solid." She said that the
audit would receive their "unqualified opinion," which says that the
figures are significantly correct.
Finance chairman Chuck Ruben presented the audit findings to the
full board in the evening. It looks like the general fund will close
out the 2007 year with a $522,662 balance. This is the figure
expected to be brought forward and rolled into the 2008 budget when
it is audited, Ruben said.
Ruben added that Barrick recommends having at least 20 percent of
the county expenditures in reserve.
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The county expenditures were almost $6 million. For Logan County
that amount should be a minimum of $1.2 million. Current figures
show that if all the other funds with balances were combined with
the general fund, there would be $905,364 in reserve, which is
close, but not as close as Ruben said he'd like it to be.
One of the audit's most important roles is to provide figures for
the upcoming budget. It is with relief that the finance committee
enters this year's budget hearings. The hearings begin Monday
morning and continue on Tuesday. The new fiscal year begins on Dec
Another role the audit serves is to verify financial standing. It
is required in some instances to attain grant funds. The health
department currently needs a copy of this audit and will get it as
soon as it is finalized to submit for a grant that would allow the
construction of three dental care rooms to begin.
Pat O'Neill thought the general fund figure was substantially
lower than in the previous year.
"No, this is right where we were. We're almost dead even with
where we were," Ruben said.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]
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