Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
Report No. 2004-89
December 2, 2004
IMPORTANT: This report contains information about the eighty-nine (89) Missouri counties that do not have a county auditor. Using recently issued audit reports and county budgets, this report has been compiled to show comparative financial information. Data for the years 2003, 2002, and 2001 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.
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 taxes represent the main source of receipts (average of 39 percent for all counties) for most counties' General Revenue Fund, while intergovernmental revenues, such as federal and state aid, represent the main source of receipts (average of 61 percent for all counties) for most counties' Special Road and Bridge Fund. There has been little change in the level of receipts and disbursements or the percentage of the composition of receipts for these funds during the three years ended December 31, 2003.
General County Government represents the main disbursement category (average of 43 percent for all counties) for most counties' General Revenue Fund. Public Safety represents the next major disbursement category (average of 34 percent for all counties) for most counties' General Revenue Fund. 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. There has been little change in the percentage of the composition of disbursements during the three years ended December 31, 2003.
A comparison of the General Revenue and Special Road and Bridge Funds year-end cash balance to disbursements for the past three years shows that the ratios have experienced little change. The 2003 average cash balance to disbursement ratios (.28 and .32 for the General Revenue Fund and Special Road and Bridge Fund, respectively) indicate that cash available at year-end would fund county operations for approximately three to four months.
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-three counties have established one or more of these funds. During 2003, receipts into these type funds totaled approximately $62 million, and the overall level of activity of receipts in these types of funds has increased during the three years ended December 31, 2003.
Common county audit findings involved problems related to reporting of federal grant expenditures, budgetary practices and financial statements, bidding procedures, payroll controls and procedures, and county property controls and records. Other significant county findings included declining financial condition, inadequate or incomplete county commission minutes, and concerns relating to the administration of various federal awards. In addition, common findings related to county elected fee officials included poor receipting, depositing, and reconciliation procedures, as well as a lack of segregation of duties.
Complete Audit Report