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County audit: 'no material weaknesses' ADVERTISEMENT

County audit: 'no material weaknesses'

SCHUYLER COUNTY--The Schuyler County Legislature received positive news during an overview of the county's financial performance Tuesday, May 24. Representatives of Insero and Co. Certified Public Accountants (CPA) LLC discussed the most recent county audit during the legislature's management and finance committee meeting, noting a significant improvement in the county's financial operations.
"This report identified no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting at the financial statement level and no material instances of noncompliance," according the audit's draft executive summary.
"The 2015 audit showed dramatic improvement both in the treasurer's office as well as the overall county finances, County Administrator Tim O'Hearn said. "This was the first audit in probably a quarter century that found no material weaknesses or deficiencies in internal controls and oversight by the treasurer. I cannot overstate the significance of this accomplishment and commend Treasurer Harriett Vickio, her staff and all department administration for collectively working to put the 'county's financial house in order.'"
Vickio was elected to the treasurer post two years ago, running on her experience in both private and public sector accounting. During this time, she highlighted a need for streamlining and time management in the treasurer's office.
Some of the issues highlighted by previous audits include the fact the general ledger balance sheet accounts were not reviewed and reconciled on a periodic basis, along with numerous posting errors that needed to be corrected by auditors. The county's budget, as entered into the financial accounting software system, also did not balance in 2012, in part due to confusion over how to properly account for grant funds. The county's bank statements were not reconciled to the general ledger system on a monthly basis and an excessive number of vendors were not processed through the accounts payable cycle, but were instead paid with hand-drawn checks.
Additionally, O'Hearn noted the county's general fund balance increased by almost $2 million, which puts Schuyler County within the recommended percentage of reserve to expenditure ratio as established by the New York State Comptroller.
"Both county road and machinery [funds] experienced growth as well (revenues exceeded expenses)," O'Hearn said. "Further evidence of the sound fiscal stewardship is the recent upgrading of the county's financial rating by Standard and Poor's to A+ stable."
The county administrator said the legislature will be formally adopting the audit at its June legislative resolution review committee meeting, noting there are no substantive changes planned to the draft.






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