Toccoa Receives Clean Audit Opinion

The city of Toccoa receives a generally positive report on its Fiscal Year 2014 audit.

Auditors from Mauldin and Jenkins, the city’s auditing firm, met with city commissioners on Monday at a work session to review the audit for the fiscal year that wrapped up last June 30.

Joel Black with Mauldin and Jenkins said overall, the city received a clean audit opinion for Fiscal Year 2014.

“It says the financials are materially correct as presented,” said Black. “That is what you received and what you would hope to (receive).”

Black also said the audit shows that the city of Toccoa is in a very strong position when it comes to its reserve funds.

According to Black, it is usually suggested that cities the size of Toccoa have two to three months of general fund operating expenses set aside in reserve.

Black said the city surpasses that mark easily.

“Two to three months would be 16 to 25 percent,” said Black. “You are at 41 percent, so you are certainly above that two to three month threshold.”

Black did say that 41 percent figure was down from 52 percent last year, a decrease due to the construction of the new city pool.

“That is driving up expenditures plus you used a little fund balance to pay for that this year,” said Black.

The city forward funded the pool project and will re-pay itself with SPLOST VI revenues as those come in.

Auditors did report a few issues they felt needed correction.

In the city’s main financial statements, those findings centered around a couple of instances of needing to properly record accrued payroll and account payable and related expenditures in a few instances and one instance of needing to properly record a revenue and related receivables item.

Also, auditors had a finding in the audit for the city of segregation of duties, noting that the city could further improve internal controls by further splitting financial duties.

Black said that is something that comes up every year and is not uncommon for governments to receive.

“A city your size, an accounting staff your size, it is hard to do, it may be impossible to do,” said Black of eliminating that issue.

He added that the only solution is adding more staff and that may not be cost-effective and is not necessarily something he would recommend doing.

Overall, Black said the city’s audit continues to look better and better each year.

“The city is doing a really good job,” said Black.

Black credited the city’s staff for its hard work on the audit each year.

Auditors also performed a special audit required for the city related to DOT funds the city received and spent in the last fiscal year.

Black said they did have a couple of findings in that audit related to the city’s not following its own policies in a couple of areas at all times, but adds the city spent the DOT’s money in the way it was supposed to and accounted for it, which is the main thing.