YAKIMA – In a report issued recently, the Washington State Auditor’s office found that Yakima County came through with flying colors, in terms of an accountability review.
The accountability audit is conducted for all public agencies and it essentially includes a state review of overall practices.
The county report – which reviewed the books for calendar year 2012 – surveyed everything from public works projects to purchasing to building permits.
“In the areas we examined, the county’s internal controls were adequate to safeguard public assets,” State Auditor Troy Kelley noted. “The county also complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures in the areas we examined.”
With that said, Kelley did provide a reminder that his office previously in 2013 issued a finding for what his office termed a “significant deficiency” in internal controls over preparation of financial statements and District Court probation receivables.
That earlier audit finding was reported in September 2013 by Kelley’s office.
The finding involved how the county auditor presented financial statements.
There were no problems with how the county spent its money, but rather state officials noted two areas of internal control deficiencies in the county auditor’s reporting. That was according to Craig Warner, the county’s financial services director, in comments when the finding was published in September.
One issue was how the county accounted for its uncollectible funds in the district court probation account receivables.
Warner says the county auditor’s office estimated that 40 percent of the probation receivables were uncollectable, while state officials felt the figure should be 90 percent.
Warner says the county will be able to better address that issue going forward because of new software in use for the probation account receivables.
The other item state officials had concerns about was how financial statements were presented.
“Our audit found the county did not always calculate adjustments correctly or accurately prepare the reconciliation between fund statements and the goverment-wide statements,” the state auditor’s finding stated in September.
While there was again no question that funds were not misappropriated or incorrectly handled, at issue was lack of review on how financial adjustments were reported.
In response, Warner said the county is working on a plan to provide additional reviews and internal control of the financial statements.