Saugatuck Earns "Very Clean Audit" For 2013/'14 From CPA Firm
In its fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, the City of Saugatuck saw a “very good year financially” and, overall, got “a very clean audit,” Stephen Blann of the Grand Rapids-based CPA firm Rehman Robson told the city council Monday night in his report.
The city’s 2013/2014 budget came with $2,180,215 in revenues and $2,044,612 in expenditures. The fiscal year ends in June and starts anew in July.
Describing his firm’s job and what an audit is, Blann said, “We make sure that the numbers (on the city’s financial books) are accurate, not how the city is doing economically,” said Blann.
Put differently, Blann pointed out that the audit document ought to answer one simple question: “Do you believe the financial information (in the audit ) is something you can rely on to make sound financial decisions?”
He said the city was economically sound, with a much better than expected general fund balance which totaled $1.75 million, an increase from the prior year of $177,624.
The fund balance is the “rainy day” fund for future needs and is dedicated to the expenditures of the next fiscal period. The recommended amount for the general fund is two months worth of expenditures, according to Blann.
As in previous years, the firm pointed out a minor deficiency that is more a reflection of the operating budget and small staff of a city of the size of Saugatuck (about 1,000 year-round residents and about 3,000 during the summer season) then any flaws on the part of staff.
This issue involves checks and balances issues when it comes to accounting practices, (e.g., the person responsible for approving payments of invoices should not also be responsible for issuing checks.)
“There is nothing you can do about this, but just be aware of it (and carry forward accordingly),” said Blann.
“With the account staff of a city of your size, you are not always guaranteed that independent review.”
Earlier this year, the city council approved Saugatuck City Treasurer Peter Stanislawski’s requested budget of $2,037,693 for next fiscal year (2014-2015), and kept the operating millage rate the same at 12 mills.