By reviewing the previous independent audit reports to management as well as Dorf’s 2016 report, citizens may gain a greater understanding of some of the issues the state auditor will likely have to address.

This is the second of a two-part series examining what led to Camden County’s request to seek a State Audit for the first time in nearly two decades and past reports issued by independent certified public accountants. The first part of this series examined the events and discussions that led up to the request.

With a First Class designation by the State of Missouri in 1997-1998, Camden County was no longer required to undergo regular state audits, but instead formed its own internal auditor’s office while contracting annually for a financial audit report conducted by an independent CPA firm.

From 2013 to 2016, Camden County has used Daniel Jones & Associates, CPAs, to conduct its independent financial audit and also tasked former special deputy auditor Michael Dorf, CPA, with reviewing the 2016 budget process. The difference between a comprehensive performance audit, such as those conducted by the State of Missouri, and an independent financial audit lies in the details, scope and time.

Based on prior audits of First Class counties, Camden County may not get the results for more than a year after the audit is started and will likely be left with a bill somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000 when it’s completed.

The state audit will also look more closely at whether or not county offices are abiding by Missouri State Statutes, including the Sunshine Law, and provide a detailed breakdown of cash flow, expenditures and revenue.

Government audits tend to be broken into two parts. First, the financial report and second the report to management. The financial report deals with the raw numbers, while the management report details recommendations and deficiencies uncovered.

By reviewing the previous independent audit reports to management as well as Dorf’s 2016 report, citizens may gain a greater understanding of some of the issues the state auditor will likely have to address.

Daniel Jones & Associates uses the generally accepted standards and government auditing standards, known as Statements of Auditing Standards: Clarification and Recodification to cite significant or material weaknesses and deficiencies.

CPA Michael Dorf’s recommendations

1. A record of all budget requests should be dated and initialed by the individual responsible for the preparation of the budget and the individual receiving the request in the county auditor’s office. This recommendation has been implemented by the auditor’s office for the 2017 budget and a paper copy of each request is to be kept on file.

2. A detailed record of proposed changes to the budget request should be kept and initialed by the responsible individuals in the department’s and the auditor’s offices.

3. A detailed record of all meetings and a summary of the results of those meetings should be kept and initialed by the responsible individuals in the department’s and auditor’s offices.

4. A detailed record of all meetings concerning budgets with the commission should be kept and included in the minutes of the commission when held.

5. A public notification when the proposed budget is available for review should be made by the commission.

6. All departments should be required to attend a meeting where the budget process is detailed.

2016 Findings from Daniel Jones & Associates

1. Documentation of the county’s internal controls has not been prepared. During walkthroughs, the county informed us that internal control documentation had not been prepared. Statements of Auditing Standards: Clarification and Recodification considers this a significant deficiency.

2. During the walkthroughs of the county, we noted there is no formal fraud risk assessment in place. The County informed us that the necessary risk assessment documentation had not been prepared. SAS considers this is a significant deficiency.

2015 Findings from Daniel Jones & Associates

1. Documentation of the county’s internal controls has not been prepared. During walkthroughs, the county informed us that internal control documentation had not been prepared. SAS considers this a significant deficiency.

2. During the walkthroughs of the county, we noted there is no formal fraud risk assessment in place. County informed us that the necessary risk assessment documentation had not been prepared. SAS considers this a significant deficiency.

3. Bank reconciliation must be prepared monthly on a timely basis by the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. We noted no bank reconciliation was performed on the PA Bad Check bank account. SAS considers this to be a material weakness.