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Yakima County audit gets thumbs-up

YAKIMA - After receiving an accountability audit for 2010 with one finding or issue to resolve, state auditors recently reviewed Yakima County's books and gave them a thumbs up.

"In the areas we examined, the county's internal controls were adequate to safeguard public assets," the state auditor's office wrote. "The county also complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures in the areas we examined."

The audit, released earlier this week, was an independent accountability audit for 2011 that reviewed the county's internal controls for its books.

Areas of county bookkeeping evaluated included payroll, the Sheriff's office, the Department of Corrections, the Probation Department and general disbursements.

According to the audit report, as of the year ending 2011 the county's annual budget was about $162 million. The report noted Yakima County had 1,170 permanent employees serving a population of 248,000.

As for the previous accountability audit finding - issued in late 2011 - it was discovered upon a review of the county's 2010 books. That finding involved Yakima County's probation department, which auditors said lacked internal controls over cash receipts and accounts receivable.

The issue was a cause for concern, auditors noted at the time, because it increased the risk that undetected errors or losses could occur.

In the follow-up audit released this week, state officials praised the county's probation department for resolving the finding.

The issue was addressed, auditors noted, when the county implemented a new data processing system and established additional internal controls on cash receipts and accounts receivables.

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