By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department’s audit for the 2011 taxes received a clean bill of health from State Auditor Adam Edelen recently.
The audit report reviews the tax receipts and disbursements from April 2011 through April 2012.
The report came back clean.
“The audit found that the sheriff’s financial statement fairly presents the taxes charged, credited and paid, for the period April 16, 2011 through April 16, 2012, in conformity with the modified cash basis of accounting,” states the audit.
Only one corrective comment came from Edelen’s office: “The sheriff’s office lacks adequate segregation of duties over receipts and disbursements.”
The report specified the “minor” problem.
It states the bookkeeper collects the tax payments, prepares deposits and prepares the monthly tax reports. That employee also makes the bank deposits, prepares monthly payments to the taxing districts, signs the checks and performed the monthly reconciliations with the bank.
“Segregation of duties over collecting taxes, preparing daily deposits, preparing monthly reports, and preparing disbursements is essential for providing protection from asset misappropriation and/or inaccurate financial reporting,” the audit report states. “Additionally, proper segregation of duties protects employees in the normal course of performing their daily responsibilities.”
“This kind of by-the-book accounting and professionalism is what the people of Whitley County asked for, and what’s needed to help this county grow and prosper,” Harrell said. “I’m proud of the Sheriff’s Department staff and hope this clean audit makes you proud of your Sheriff’s Department.”
Taxes collected totaled just shy of $7.4 million for the district. The department retained $306,760 in commissions to operate the sheriff’s department, and distributed $7,083,765 in taxes to the districts for 2011 taxes.
State law requires an annual audit of the accounts of each county sheriff. To comply, the auditor issues two sheriff’s reports each year — one reporting on the audit of the sheriff’s tax account and the other reporting on the audit of the fee account used to operate the office.