Douglas County scores high on financial management – Superior Telegram

Douglas County’s financial statements accurately reflect its financial position, according to Wipfli LLP’s 2021 audit.

The auditor issued an unmodified opinion on the financial statements of government and business-type activities on Thursday, September 1 to the administration committee.

This means that the financial statements are presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, said Rob Ganschow of Wipfli.

“That’s the opinion that you, as the governing body, are looking for,” Ganschow said. “…It provides reasonable, but not absolute, assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement.”

The audit did not reveal any material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or instances of non-compliance with respect to the county’s internal control over financial reporting.

The county’s net financial position, including assets, increased by $5.6 million and the fund balance increased by $2.4 million in 2021.

“We know sales tax has been strong in Douglas County,” said Supervisor Alan Jaques, chairman of the administration committee.

“Overall, government-wide, the financial results for 2021 were positive,” Ganschow said.

However, he said, in testing federal and state programs, auditors found one reportable, but intangible, instance of noncompliance in the Department of Human Services. He said auditors found one case where a vendor providing services under the Long-Term Children’s Services program exceeded $10,000 without a signed contract required by the state. He said it was just an oversight.

Speaking with department leadership, Ganschow said procedures will be put in place to mitigate the issue and the program will be tested again next year to ensure those procedures are working as intended. He said beyond that single issue, the county is doing a good job managing federal and state programs.

“Overall, financially for the county over the past year, in my mind, I think the county ended up in a good financial position based on the economy and everything that was going on,” said said Ganschow. “…The county’s fund balance is healthy and allows it to absorb some of these…ebbs and flows of spending, as well as funding. Is there enough to solve all the county’s problems? I don’t think any county has enough resources to do that, but I think there is a cushion there to fill in some holes where needed in the county budget.

Geraldine L. Melton