The report detailed items that auditors said are less significant than material deficiencies, which are defined as serious internal financial weaknesses.
”It’s a pretty good audit, but there are still things we need to work on,” County Mayor Joe Grandy said.
Auditors with the state Comptroller’s Office flagged three items under the mayor’s office, as well as an issue in the county school director’s budget, one in the Clerk and Master’s office and a single finding in the Washington County Sheriff’’s Office.
Those items included:
• Accounting records in the mayor’s office not conforming with a uniform chart of accounts.
• Deficiencies in the mayor’s office’s budget and purchasing operations.
• A problem with accounting software that failed to provide a cash journal in the Clerk and Master’s office.
• Failure of the WCSO to bill reimbursements for state prisoners in a timely manner.
“We shoot for a unqualified statement, and that is what we received,” said Mitch Meredith, the county’s director of finance and administration.
Meredith told members of the county’s Audit Committee on Wednesday the county had improved from the 25 findings cited in 2017 by auditors with the state Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Audit. Nine of those findings were attached to the mayor’s office.
“We continue to improve our fund balance, and the county remains in good financial condition,” Meredith said.
He told Audit Committee members, who voted Wednesday to accept the findings of the state review, the county is hoping to have no findings in the next audit. Mark Treece, the state’s local government audit manager for 22 counties in East Tennessee, said that’s an ambitious goal.
“You’ve shown great improvement going from 25 findings to six,” he told Washington County officials. “It’s difficult to have zero.”