Northampton Commissioners receive audit status report

Published 12:07 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

JACKSON – Fiscal Year 2019 is already underway, but Northampton County’s Board of Commissioners are still waiting for their FY 2017 audit report. They received an update about its progress here Jan. 7 during their regular meeting.

Alan Thompson, a representative of the accounting firm Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co, reported they have received almost all the information needed to complete the audit for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2017. But he also believed they would probably need to come back for at least one day to check over a few more things.

“We’re working as diligently as we can,” he said.

Chairman Charles Tyner replied saying the county urgently needed the audit. He explained they were unable to apply for grants and other things that would benefit the county without having updated financial audit information.

“When do you think we will possibly get that audit” Tyner asked.

Thompson said he hoped to present an approved FY17 audit report at their first meeting in February barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Acknowledging they still had the FY18 audit to complete as well, Vice Chair Geneva Faulkner asked Thompson if he wanted to begin receiving information for that fiscal year as well.

He explained that the Local Government Commission (LGC) “frowns heavily” on working without a contract, and they could not legally sign a contract for FY18 before finishing the work for the previous year. He did, however, recommend the county go ahead and submit information for a new standard required for the FY18 audit. He had heard there were delays in receiving that specific report because it was the first year it had been required.

Commissioner Kelvin Edwards, as one of the newest members of the Board, asked for some clarity regarding why the auditors did not yet have all the information necessary to complete the FY17 audit.

“Our finance officer is no longer with us. She resigned,” explained Tyner, adding they would pick a new interim for the position by next week who would be designated to provide any further information the auditor required.

Thompson concluded his presentation with another recommendation. He suggested the commissioners receive a set of financial statements at least once a quarter. Those reports should contain information comparing budget-to-actual for each fund, a cash summary, and an update on tax collections received.

On one final note, he reminded the commissioners he was available any time if they had further questions.

In May 2018, the commissioners received their long-awaited FY16 audit report. As reported previously by the News Herald, that audit was delayed due to a variety of reasons including the process of finding a new auditor and rectifying an issue with the bank reconciliation.