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Port audit comes up smelling like roses...again

After celebrating years of serving agriculture and industry, Sunnyside's Port District has had a successful 48-year history of business development.

According to the Washington State Auditor's office, the Port of Sunnyside is again in good financial health.

The most recent audit that combed through the financials at the port came back clean, just like in years past.

The most exciting news for the Port, however, is it has never had a finding from the state auditor's office since its inception in 1964.

Port of Sunnyside Financial Director Carol Carter said there are three reporting levels issued by the state auditor's office. They include "a finding," "a management letter" and an "exit item."

According to Carter, a finding, the most severe reporting level, formally addresses an issue in the audit report; a management letter communicates a less significant instance of non-compliance' and an exit item addresses far less serious audit issues,

"Exit items aren't even included in the audit, they are informally communicated," Carter said.

She said the Port of Sunnyside has never received 'a finding' and even received a commendation fromchief state auditor Brian Sontaag a few years ago.

The 36-page audit report details figures from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, showing the port ended the year with its assets exceeding its liabilities by 48 percent ($13,605,121).

The Port of Sunnyside's cash and investment balance was more than $5.5 million, which is an increase of nearly $390,000 from the previous year. The funds exceed the port's operating expenses by 151 percent.

By and large the port increased its assets by $372,811 and decreased its debt by 8 percent ($1,149,028).

"The overall financial condition of the port district remains strong at the end of 2011," the auditor's office noted.

Not included in the formal audit were two exit items. One item noted that the port includes more expenses than necessary in their report handed over to the auditor's office for review. The other small exit item was the port coded an invoice to the wrong year.

"Our commissioners set a standard of doing things correctly the first time," she said.

Carter says though she compiles the reports, clean audits wouldn't have come back for so many years without the dedication of port employees.

"I can't do this all by myself," she said. "I want to thank all the port employees for their assistance in getting us the correct and timely information."

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