Auditor Logo Susan Montee

Report No. 2010-27
Februar 2010

Complete Audit Report

Findings in the audit of Webster County

County Disbursements
The County Commission purchased four tracts of real estate without obtaining independent appraisals of the properties and also did not obtain independent appraisals of properties exchanged with the City of Marshfield. The county did not properly solicit bids or retain sufficient bid documentation for some purchases and did not ensure fuel was purchased in compliance with the agreed upon price.

Procedures for monitoring county credit card use are insufficient. The County Commission does not review itemized credit card statements and/or invoices for county credit card purchases paid from restricted special revenue funds administered by other county officials. The County Collector made several personal credit card purchases, such as meals for his wife and alcohol, and incurred excessive meal and lodging costs. Purchases were made in violation of the county's travel policies. Adequate supporting documentation was also not maintained for some of the credit card purchases made by the County Collector. Further, the County Collector opened another credit card account with a different bank, and the County Commission was not aware the additional credit card account existed.

The county has not developed a formal written policy regarding cellular phone use or established adequate monitoring procedures to determine whether a cellular phone is needed or of benefit to the county. Fuel use is not adequately reviewed and reconciled to fuel purchases. The county did not always enter into formal written agreements signed by all parties defining services to be provided and benefits to be received. Monies received from private citizens and businesses for paving projects are not receipted and deposited in a timely manner.

Payroll Controls and Procedures
Compensatory (overtime) balances for county employees have accumulated and could potentially be a significant liability to the county. At November 7, 2009, county employees had accumulated 5,312 hours of compensatory time valued at approximately $68,550. Timesheets are not prepared by the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, and some timesheets submitted by road and bridge employees were not signed by the employee or the employee's supervisor.

Property Tax System Controls and Procedures
Controls and procedures over the property tax system need improvement. As a result, there is less assurance that all property tax monies have been accounted for properly. Neither the County Commission nor the County Clerk adequately reviews the activities of the County Collector. The County Clerk and County Commission do not review and approve additions and abatements to the tax system. The County Collector does not refund some overpayments of property taxes. Instead, the County Assessor reduces the taxpayer's property tax valuation for the amount of the overpayment for the future tax year to compensate the taxpayer for the County Collector not making refunds. Passwords used by the County Collector and Assessor offices are not unique to each employee.

County Collector Controls and Procedures
The County Collector's accounting and reporting procedures are not sufficient and do not provide assurance monies collected are accounted for properly. Although some of these problems were noted in our previous two audits, little progress has been made. The County Collector's annual settlements are incorrect. Differences were noted between the collections and distributions reported on the annual settlements. The County Collector does not compare the reconciled bank account balances to existing liabilities and has not established procedures to routinely follow up on outstanding checks. The County Collector did not disburse some monies collected on a timely basis. Some of these monies were not disbursed until after we brought these issues to the County Collector's attention. Accounting duties are not segregated, and there was no evidence of a supervisory review of the accounting records by the County Collector. Property tax receipts are not always deposited intact and in a timely manner.

Prosecuting Attorney Controls and Procedures
Procedures are not in place to routinely identify month-end liabilities and reconcile to the bank account balances. There was no independent approval to support adjustments posted to the accounting system, and adequate documentation of such adjustments was not retained. Accounting duties are not adequately segregated, and procedures have not been established to ensure charges are filed with the court for unresolved bad check complaints on a timely basis.

Other findings in the audit report relate to the controls and procedures in the Sheriff and Recorder of Deeds offices, and County Commission meeting minutes.

Complete Audit Report
Missouri State Auditor's Office