In a press release issued on Dec. 20, Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson commended Bedford, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Marshall, Rutherford, Tipton and Unicoi counties for the “distinctive honor” of receiving a clean audit reports with no findings indicating weakness in their accounting.
“These audits each revealed a strong system that allows for accurate financial reporting and clear checks and balances that help protect taxpayer money,” Wilson said in the release. “The residents of these counties should be encouraged that county leaders and elected officials are taking their responsibilities seriously.”
The comptroller continued that “the achievement is even more significant for Tipton County, which has received a clean audit report for the third year in a row and for Bedford and Unicoi counties, (which) each received their second consecutive clean audit.”
Finance Director Phyllis Bennett said, “We’re very pleased with that. We had an inkling that it was going to happen. That’s what we always work for. And we’re very happy when we found out it has.”
“It’s everybody working together,” Bennett said, passing along the comptroller’s praise to employees in each of the county offices, highway and sheriff’s departments and schools.
“Each office is audited separately and a lot of stuff goes into it,” she said. “It’s everybody working together, keeping their information up to date and following the state guidelines. It’s everybody doing their part.”
County Mayor Greg Lynch reiterated Bennett’s appreciation for the work done in each of the county offices but also gave special credit to Bennett, Assistant Bookkeeper Gina Correll and Human Resource and Payroll Administrator Patty Treadway who he called the county’s “point people during audit time.”
Lynch said, “It’s a complicated process. It’s hard to make all the pieces come together. And I think everyone can be proud that we did — our school system, our highway department, our sheriff’s department, all the other elected office holders and our legislative body.
“It’s several million dollars that is sometimes spent $5 and $10 at a time, and it’s done correctly all the way through the entity. It’s something that our county can be proud of, from the legislative body all the way down to the workers who follow the procedures that make everything legal.”
Email Sue Guinn Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.