City gets an­other year of clean au­dits

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Jami­son Guice Jami­[email protected]­

The 2017 Cedar­town au­dit re­port was pre­sented at the Cedar­town City Com­mis­sion, and they once again got a clean bill of health from Mauldin and Jenk­ins.

While ex­ten­sive, Adam Fra­ley and Justin Davis from the au­dit team laid out im­por­tant de­tails to help the com­mis­sion and au­di­ence in un­der­stand­ing the re­port.

Ac­cord­ing to the au­dit, the City of Cedar­town has gov­ern­ment-wide as­sets and obli­ga­tions of $52 mil­lion on the books. That in­clude $19 mil­lion in debts over­all, and $33 mil­lion in in­vest­ments, prop­er­ties they own, ve­hi­cles and cash on hand. The 86-page re­port gave the city an un­mod­i­fied opin­ion of what they’d sub­mit­ted pre­vi­ously as the bud­get and ac­tual fig­ures for FY 2017, and what the au­di­tors found through their own work look­ing over the books as well.

“$28 mil­lion was in­vested in cap­i­tal as­sets,” said Davis. “$2 mil­lion was re­stricted while $3 mil­lion is left un­re­stricted.”

The re­port shows that Cedar­town of­fi­cials in­vested the money back into the city while putting aside money if needed. In the end, Davis said the $33 mil­lion had been in­vested wisely, just as in past years.

Dur­ing FY 2017 Cedar­town gained more rev­enue than bud­geted the prior year through prop­erty and sales taxes. Au­di­tors found that Cedar­town’s gen­eral rev­enue in­creased by $361,000, match­ing up with what the city had re­ported pre­vi­ously.

The city re­ceives money from taxes, rev­enue de­rived from law en­force­ment ac­tions like charges where fines are im­posed and traf­fic tick­ets, and var­i­ous fees like for build­ing per­mits or busi­ness li­censes.

While au­dit­ing, Davis said there was only one prob­lem they could find in the way the city han­dles its fi­nances, and one that has been on au­dits for many years in the past.

“We had one ma­te­rial weak­ness in in­ter­nal con­trols and it was due to seg­re­ga­tion of du­ties,” said Davis.

Plan­ning ahead, Davis said the team wants to change the process of jour­nal en­tries.

While Davis said the prob­lem was the seg­re­ga­tion of du­ties, long-term mem­ber of the City Com­mis­sion Bill Fann said the pri­mary prob­lem be­longed to the small staff.

The prob­lem has oc­curred in the past and the com­mis­sion­ers plan to be­gin solv­ing it in the upcoming year, like with pro­mo­tions of staff mem­bers that could al­low for the seg­re­ga­tion of some du­ties. (See this week’s edi­tion on Page A5 for more.)

/ Kevin Myrick

Com­mis­sion­ers Matt Fos­ter and Jor­dan Hub­bard lis­ten in as au­di­tors from Mauldin and Jenk­ins pro­vide their re­port on the City of Cedar­town’s fi­nances in 2017.

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