audit report for mercer county

The audit for Mercer County was presented on September 7th at the County board meeting. In the "financial analysis of governmental funds" section it states Mercer County uses fund accounting to ensure and demonstrate compliance with finance-related legal requirements. Fund accounting and and budget controls have been the framework of the County's strong fiscal management and accountability.

As of the end of the current fiscal year (November 30, 2009), the County's governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $3,897,355, a decrease of $414,580 in comparison with the prior fiscal year. $3,875,384 or 99.4% of the fund balance represents unreserved fund balance, which is available for spending at the County's discretion. Payments are made by authorization of the County Board or a court order. The remainder of fund balance is reserved to indicate that it is not available for new spending because it has already been committed.

The General Fund is the chief operating fund of the County. At the end of the current fiscal year, unreserved fund balance of the General Fund was $412,946. As a measure of the general fund's liquidity, we (the CPA firm Carpentier, Mitchell, Goodard & Company) compare unreserved fund balance to total fund expenditures. Unreserved fund balance represents 11.1% of total fund expenditures. General budgetary targets for reserves are 25% of expenditures which compare favorably to GFOA recommended reserves for small counties. The fund balance of the County's general fund decreased by $32,558 during the current fiscal year.

In considering the County's budget, the following factors come into play: health care and personnel costs, which make up a significant portion of the County's operating costs, continue to rise.

In accordance with its investment policy, the Mercer County Treasurer will have the sole responsibility to select which financial institutions will be depositories for County funds. As Mercer County Treasurer I have conducted operations to ensure the proper procedures are implemented and maintained. I wrote and presented an investment policy for the County of Mercer before it became law for public entities to do so.

Custodial credit risk for investments is risk that, in the event of the failure of the counterparty, the County will not be able able to recover the value of its investments or collateral securities that are in the possession of an outside party. As of November 30, 2009, there was no investment custodial risk for the County.

My aim is to maintain the integrity of the County's financial framework. Strong internal controls and fiscal accountability are key to good management.
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