Audit shows Gates County in good financial shape

Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2022

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GATESVILLE – When there is more money in your bank account at the end of the year as compared to 365 earlier, then things are looking bright.

That’s the case for Gates County local government as annual audit of its finances revealed more revenue than expenditures for fiscal year 2020-21.

The county’s Board of Commissioners were advised of that good news at their regularly scheduled meeting on March 16 where Tim Lyons with Mauldin & Jenkins, CPA presented the results of the annual audit.

Lyons gave the county an unmodified (“clean”) financial opinion.

“There is no higher or better opinion that you can get. That’s the most important part,” Lyons told the board.

“We received full cooperation from the county; we thank [Finance Director] Kim [Outland] and her team for working through the challenges of COVID as we had to do the majority of the audit remotely,” Lyons added. “There were no unrecorded adjustments made.”

In his report, Lyons said the county’s unassigned fund balance was about 39 percent of annual expenditures.

“That’s right on par with counties of similar size. You are in good position with that percentage,” Lyons stated.

He noted that percentage is trending upwards from the three previous fiscal years: 8.2 percent in 2018; 13.8 percent in 2019; and 21.1 percent in 2020.

General Fund budget to actual results at year’s end showed revenues over expenditures in the amount of $1.9 million.

“The final budget comes with an anticipated addition to fund balance; your fund balance continues to grow,” Lyons said. “It was fairly low four years ago and since that time has trended in the right direction.”

The audit also included a look at the county’s Enterprise Fund (Landfill and Water departments). Lyons said both reported positive cash flows and increased their net positions by $43,149 and $228,048 respectively.

Additionally, the audit accounts for money received by the county from federal and state grants. The largest grants received by Gates County during the 2020-21 fiscal year were Medicaid and the COVID-19 relief funds (CARES Act). Those funds were for $478,000 and $455,000 respectively.

“There were no issues found with the internal control of those funds; you received a clean opinion there as well,” Lyons said.

Following the audit report, the Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a three-year contract extension with Mauldin & Jenkins.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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