Auditor Seal


Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
Claire McCaskill


December 18, 2001

Report No. 2001-119

IMPORTANT:This report contains information about the ninety-two (92) Missouri counties which do not have a county auditor.Currently there are ninety (90) such third class counties.�� Taney County became a first class county and Newton County became a second class county effective January 1, 2001.�� Using recently issued audit reports, county budgets, and county published financial statements, this report has been compiledto show comparative financial information.Data for the years 2000, 1999, and 1998 are presented in this report.

The highlights of our review include financial data regarding significant county funds (such as the General Revenue Fund, Special Road and Bridge Fund, and various sales tax funds) and comments regarding our review of the 1998 federal award expenditures and the 2000 published financial statements of all counties.This is the first year information regarding federal awards and published financial statements has been included. 

The majority of the counties' General Revenue and Special Road and Bridge Funds had receipts and disbursements ranging from $500,000 to $1,499,999.Sales tax is the main source of receipts (average of 41 percent for all counties) for the General Revenue Fund, while intergovernmental revenues, such as federal and state aid, are the main source of receipts (average of 65 percent for all counties) for the Special Road and Bridge Fund. 

One method for measuring counties' financial condition is to compare a fund's year-end cash balance to disbursements.The average ratio for the Special Road and Bridge Fund has decreased while the average ratio for the General Revenue Fund has increased.However, there has been little change in these ratios over the past three years. 

General County Government represents the main disbursement category (average of 45 percent for all counties) for mostcounties' General Revenue Fund.Public Safety represents the next major disbursement category (average of 35 percent for all counties).For counties having a law enforcement sales tax, public safety disbursements may be paid from a law enforcement sales tax fund rather than the General Revenue Fund. 

Sales tax funds are established by counties to account for additional sales taxes approved by voters and earmarked for a specific purpose, including capital improvements, law enforcement, and road and bridge work.Fifty counties have established one or more of these funds.During 2000 receipts into these type funds totaled approximately $56,000,000. 

Most counties receive federal financial assistance to operate various federal programs. While the majority of counties expended $300,000 or less in federal awards during 1998, a few expended more than $900,000.Counties are required to submit a schedule of expenditures of federal awards (SEFA) to the State Auditor's Office with the annual budget.A review of each county's 1998 SEFA amounts determined that counties underreported federal award expenditures by approximately $11,000,000, or 33 percent of total identified federal award expenditures.Inaccurate reporting could result in noncompliance with audit and reporting requirements which could result in future reductions of federal funds. 

Counties are required to publish their annual financial statements by the first Monday in March of each year.A review of each county's 2000 published financial statements determined that most counties financial statements were good or fair and presented a significant portion of the required statutory information.About one-third of the counties did not publish their financial statement by the statutory deadline. 

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Missouri State Auditor's Office