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Audit: Madison County Commission earns clean bill of health for financial operations

If the Madison County Commission was given a grade for the management of its finances, it would have earned a grade point average of 4.0.

According to the most recent Department of Examiners of Public Accounts summary report, the examiners did not turn up any weaknesses or deficiencies in the county commission’s internal controls over financial reporting, and no problems with noncompliance materials in its financial statements. The summary of the examiner’s report also did not report any internal control weaknesses of federal awards awarded to the Madison County Commission. Under the schedule of findings and questioned costs, the examiner also found no issues.

“The outstanding result from this audit clearly shows that the commission is very serious about how we manage the money entrusted to us by the taxpayers of Madison County,” said Chairman Dale Strong. “This also demonstrates the hard work and diligence in which our employees carry out their responsibilities in our financial operations.”

The most recent audit was conducted on the Madison County Commission’s finances for fiscal year 2019 by the State of Alabama Examiners of Public Accounts. The results of that audit were filed by the agency on May 28, 2021.

The report reviews the results of an audit to determine whether the commission’s financial statements objectively convey the financial position and results of financial operation of the county commission in addition to whether the commission complied with applicable laws and regulations, including those that apply to major federal financial assistance programs.

Financial highlights from the audit for fiscal year 2019:

  • The commission’s net position increased $32.87 million during the fiscal year. Of that increase revenues for governmental activities jumped $24.75 million while business-type activities generated an additional $8.12 million.
  • During this same period of time, the governmental operating expenses of the Madison County Commission were reduced $12.51 million while operating expenses of the business-type activities decreased $760,000.
  • The commission’s general fund increased reserves $7.26 million while other governmental fund reserves increased $1.49 million.

Government activities includes the commission’s basic services, such as public safety, highways and roads, and general administration. Property taxes, state and federal grants finance most of these activities. Business-type activities include fees charged to customers to cover certain services provided by the county commission, such as waste control, building inspection and the water system.

The Madison County Commission’s finances are subject to review annually, according to finance director Carol Long.

Ray Garner is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News.