County receives 2012 audit report

bbashioum@demo-mo.comNovember 22, 2013 

After several years of being behind, Cass County is finally caught up on their independent audits.

The Cass County Commissioners were presented with the county’s 2012 audit by Cochran, Head and Vick during a regular meeting Nov. 14, more than two months ahead their Jan. 31, 2014, deadline.

Since taking office in 2011, Auditor Ron Johnson has been working to help the county catch up with uncompleted county audits, dating back to 2009.

The firm audited financial statements of governmental activities, business-type activities, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information, which collectively comprises the basic financial statement for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012.

In the auditor’s findings, David Cochran said they identified some deficiencies with internal controls.

“While performing our audit procedures we noted a deficiency in controls over financial reporting associated with the recording of certain accounts payable transactions in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles,” the audit reported. “In addition, certain prior period adjustments were made which restated the beginning net position balance by a material amount. We recommend that management review the processes, procedures, and controls used to accumulate year end accrual adjustments. We also recommend that management review the processes, procedures, and controls used to account for and report capital assets.”

Cochran did say that improvements had been made since the previous year.

“I think this is very good news for us,” Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox said. “I like to see us getting caught up on our audits. I definitely think we’re going in the right direction.”

Cochran thanked the Cass County Auditor’s Office for preparing financial statements for the firm prior to the auditing process.

“Very few counties bring us a financial statement prepared and ready for audit,” he said. “It certainly makes our job easier to do and more efficient. The end results makes it a much better audit for the citizens in the county.”

During the meeting, Cox, who serves as the chief budget officer for the county, also submitted a budget proposal for 2014.

“This is the starting document that we’ll be working with,” Cox said. “Some of the main priorities of the 2014 budget proposal include bringing the county’s focus back toward providing essential services to its citizens, planning over the long-term in order to meet debt obligations, and taking a holistic approach to employee compensation.”

The county will hold two budget public hearings: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, and 9:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The finalized budget needs to be approved by mid-January.

In other meeting business, commissioners made the following actions:

Accepted a certificate into the record for County Clerk Janet Burlingame who completed training from the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities.

Approved the renewal of a lease agreement with Mill-Walk Mall for Assessor and Collector’s office space.

Accepted a bid in the amount of $562,860.70 to be awarded to Bryan-Ohlmeier Construction Co. Inc. for the Main City Bridge.

Approved a request for disbursement from Collector Pam Shipley for 2013 tax sale surplus monies from Karen Long and Bill Usher in the amount of $3,405.79 payable to Michael Hamburg.

Approved a grant application submitted by the North Cass Waste Management and Sewer District.

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