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The Audit Connection Blog

Results for: Financial management


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McCarthy says Wapato audits show need for accountability in the city

May 2, 2019

YAKIMA – The Office of the Washington State Auditor published two audits of the City of Wapato today, documenting significant violations of government standards. The accountability and financial audits include eight findings, an unusually high number and cause for concern. The State Auditor’s Office (SAO) also issued a letter to Wapato leadership responding to concerns that the public raised about the city. The reports come after SAO issued a fraud report in February detailing a $300,000 misappropriation in Wapato.
“These audits speak to a basic lack of accountability and transparency in the city,” said State Auditor Pat McCarthy. “It is important the State Auditor’s Office shine a light on issues that need public attention, and the situation in Wapato is deeply concerning.”

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Have an employee incentive-pay program? Keep these things in mind

November 8, 2018

Governments in Washington must exercise care when creating and implementing programs to compensate employees beyond their base salary.

This article offers items to consider specific to performance-based incentive pay. The following is intended for informational purposes only – always consult your government’s attorney for specific legal advice on these matters.

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New resource identifies best practices for small and attractive assets

October 24, 2018

BBB. Recently, the Performance Center provided several resources on accounting for capital assets to help local governments with financial reporting. Another group of assets, which fall below a government’s capitalization threshold, should also be considered when establishing and evaluating asset policies and other internal controls. In Washington, we frequently refer to these as “small and attractive assets,” but they these could be described using different terminology.

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Changes to fiduciary reporting take effect soon

August 14, 2018

Last fall, we posted an article strongly encouraging governments to start evaluating activities that might be classified as fiduciary activities under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board’s (GASB) recently issued Statement No. 84. The changes to fiduciary activity reporting are right around the corner – effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 – and affect not only governments that report under generally accepted accounting principles, but those that report using the cash-basis accounting model as well.

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New resource identifies best practices for small and attractive assets

May 29, 2018

Recently, the Performance Center provided several resources on accounting for capital assets to help local governments with financial reporting. Another group of assets, which fall below a government’s capitalization threshold, should also be considered when establishing and evaluating asset policies and other internal controls. In Washington, we frequently refer to these as “small and attractive assets,” but they these could be described using different terminology. For example, the Government Finance Officers Association refers to them as “controlled capital-type items” in its best practice guidance.

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County road levy diversion: A new focus for fiscal year 2017 county audits

May 16, 2018

Counties use property tax levies to collect funds for county roads. State law
(RCW 36.33.220) allows counties to divert a portion of these funds to the current expense fund. This must be done through a Board resolution, and the funds can be used for any service to be provided in the unincorporated area of the county. However, to be eligible for Rural Arterial Program funding (see below), counties must use the diverted revenues only for purposes of traffic law enforcement and must complete a certification attesting to this fact. It is important to note that this requirement is only applicable to counties with a population greater than 8,000.

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Come try our new, improved Local Government Financial Reporting System

April 26, 2018

As a part of our continuing commitment to making information about local government operations around the state more transparent and accessible, we have updated the look and feel of our Local Government Financial Reporting System, or LGFRS. Our Office has long provided unaudited financial data filed by local governments on our website via LGFRS. This same tool has a new look and is now even easier to use and understand.

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When should I use enterprise funds?

April 20, 2018

Are you reporting your activities in the correct fund type? Local governments should analyze the services they are providing and determine if the fund types used are appropriate.

An enterprise fund is a fund that may be used to report any activity for which a fee is charged to external users for goods or services.  

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New standard out for auditors assessing a government’s financial condition

March 1, 2018

Part of management’s responsibility for financial reporting and safeguarding of public resources is to regularly evaluate its financial condition and develop plans to address any serious issues. For financial reporting, both the Budgeting, Accounting and Reporting System (BARS) Manual and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 56 require disclosure in the notes to the financial statements regarding any situations that give rise to a substantial doubt about the government’s ability to continue to operate, along with management’s plans to address the situation.

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