Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
Report No. 2005-72
IMPORTANT: The Missouri State
Auditor is required by state law to conduct audits once every 4 years in
counties, likeWebster, that do not have a county auditor. In addition to a
financial and compliance audit of various county operating funds, the State
Auditor's statutory audit covers additional areas of county operations, as well
as the elected county officials, as required by Missouri's Constitution.
This audit of Webster County included additional
areas of county operations, as well as the elected county officials. The
following concerns were noted as part of the audit:
Webster County's General Revenue fund has been
experiencing a declining cash balance since December 31, 2002. While receipts
have increased each year, they have not kept pace with the increase in
disbursements, and based on 2005 projections the county does not anticipate
the financial condition of the General Revenue fund to improve during the
current year. Some of the increases in disbursements appear to be
unavoidable, such as increases in statutory salaries and insurance costs.
Other factors include costs related to the purchase and sale of land for a
judicial center, and the untimely filing of grant reimbursement requests.
Additionally, approximately $28,900 is due from the General Revenue fund and
the Assessment fund to local school districts because of an error in computing
property tax distributions, and a significant liability of approximately
$49,000 exists in accumulated employee compensatory time balances. The
Commission is aware of the financial condition of the County and has had
meetings with various county officials informing them of the status of the
General Revenue fund cash balance.
The county lost $17,110 on the purchase and
subsequent sale of 10 acres purchased for the potential site of a new judicial
center. Additionally, the county did not adequately evaluate the details of
an agreement with the buyer of the land that exchanged topsoil for the
rebuilding of a fence. As a result, it is unclear if the county received an
equitable exchange of goods and services.
Controls and procedures over county
expenditures need improvement. Credit card transaction limits can be
circumvented, and adequate documentation is not always retained for credit
card purchases. In addition, some expenditures appear questionable, and
written agreements were not obtained in some instances.
County budgets and financial reporting need
improvement. The Road and Bridge fund annual budget prepared by the County
Clerk and approved by the County Commission for 2004 did not include $959,425
the county had received in Public Assistance Grants. Additionally,
disbursements were made in excess of the approved budgets for several funds.
The Sheriff's department did not properly
complete the grant reimbursement request process for claims totaling
approximately $31,000. One claim form was prepared but not filed with the
federal government, while another claim form was filed but the county
neglected to request the funds be deposited into their bank account.
The Sheriff did not compare invoices to the
written agreement for legal services, resulting in $834 more being paid for
those services than agreed upon. Further, the Sheriff paid a consulting firm
$2,321 without obtaining a written agreement.
Controls over receipts and disbursements of the
Sheriff's Department need improvement. Additionally, seized property records
are not always updated timely, and duties are not adequately segregated.
Errors were noted in amounts reported on the
Collector's annual settlement and in withholdings made from school taxes.
Further, bank account balances are not reconciled to liabilities, outstanding
checks are not routinely followed up on, duties are not adequately segregated,
and controls over property tax receipts need improvement.
Deficiencies were noted in the internal control
and accounting procedures used by the Prosecuting Attorney's office. Monies
are not deposited timely and are not always recorded in the bad check
system. Also, numerous errors were identified in the calculation of the
checkbook balance, and monthly listings of open items (liabilities) are not
prepared and consequently, are not agreed to the reconciled bank balance.
Records and procedures of the Associate Circuit
Division need improvement. Bank reconciliations are not prepared monthly,
receipts are not deposited timely, and procedures for surety bond forfeiture
need improvement. Additionally, an interest fund ledger is not maintained,
and the fund is not budgeted in accordance with state statute.
The Emergency 911 Board overspent the 2004
budget and the 2005 budget was not properly prepared. Additionally,
improvements are needed in documenting the board's approval of invoices,
soliciting bids, and documenting employee time.
Also included in the audit recommendations
related to the schedule of federal awards, closed meetings, payroll, a road
maintenance plan, and capital assets. The audit also suggested improvements in
the procedures of the Public Administrator, Circuit Clerk, and the Health Center
Complete Audit Report
Missouri State Auditor's Office