State auditors find problems with Stevens County bookkeeping

Thomas Costigan
Special to the S-E

The Washington State Auditor's Office found inadequate internal controls in preparations of Stevens County financial statements audit that could lead in inaccurate reporting.
The findings were detailed in the Auditor's Office report, released earlier this month, for a period between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2016.

State officials noted that audit findings were not new to county officials. The prior seven audits identified control deficiencies in the financial statement preparation process.
During the latest audit, the Auditor's Office noted that employees responsible for preparing financial statements lacked the technical knowledge of reporting requirements prescribed in the "Budgeting, Accounting and Reporting System" (BARS).

The county also did not have controls in place to ensure that financial activity found in accounting records were complete and accurate. The auditors also determined the county's process for reviewing financial statements was not effective to detect and correct errors and the internal control process for preparing and reviewing the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA) was not effective.

Among the specific problems uncovered was the incorrect classification of client service agreements as federal grant revenue in the NEW Alliance Counseling Fund. This caused intergovernmental revenue to be overstated and charges for goods and services revenue to be understated, both by $5,156,103.

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