Blairsville, Ga – Rushton and Company issued an unmodified opinion on Union County’s 2018 audit and addressed rises in expenditures.
CPA Clay Pilgrim attended the July Commissioner Meeting to deliver their findings for 2018. Following United States and Government Auditing Standards, the company found nothing out of the ordinary during 2018.
Pilgrim presented the statement of net position for the county, which includes assets, liabilities, and residual net position.
“For 2018, we have an unmodified opinion or clean opinion on financial statements,” said Pilgrim.
The net investment in capital assets for 2018 amounted to $40,544,709, restricted new position was $6,294,106, unrestricted net position was $3,456,935, total net position as $50,295,750, and revenue was $214,292 under expenses for the year.
“Net position is the equity of the county, net investment capital assets, which is going to be land buildings,” explained Pilgrim, “Restricted net position is resources that are held, not just been expended that are restricted by an outside party or legislation like SPLOST.”
In the General Fund, revenues rose by 8.3 percent or $1,283,735 due to increase in property taxes, title ad valorem, LOST, insurance premium taxes, and intergovernmental revenues.
General Fund expenditures increased by 8.4 percent or $1,319,428 in part due to the rise in Risk Management expenses from health insurance claims, Sheriff’s office budget being up by $726,069 from personal services and capital outlay, and fire and emergency management up by $227,520 from personal services and capital outlay.
“Increase in capital assets, not a recurring charge and really not a lot of that affect the bottom line anyway as far as capital is concerned because a lot of that dealt with trades of vehicles,” stated Pilgrim about the rise in Sheriff’s Office expenses.
SPLOST for the year covered the 2009 and 2015 years with the 2009 balance closing out at $5,921 and 2015 balance spending $3,608,643 for county projects.
Auditors and county performed audit adjustments as necessary and no disagreements were found within the findings.
Pilgrim also discussed upcoming changes from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
“GASB Statement No. 87 which is going to be on leases and change the approach on leases. Currently, we have operating leases and capital leases, and they are trying to move to a more single approach, said Pilgrim “more toward the capital lease side of things, a lot more things on the balance sheet.”
The change applies to most governments leases, including real estate, and finance purchases.
“GASB Statement No. 88 is also coming that is certain disclosures relating to debt, debt borrowings, and debt direct placements,” stated Pilgrim, “This one will really just add some additional disclosures in the financial statements, which we will assist with.”
Finally, Rushton & Company already implemented GASB 89, and it accounts for interests and costs during a construction period. The city no longer has to capitalize construction costs into certain funds when reporting them.
Pilgrim thank Commissioner Lamar Parris and his staff for their helpfulness during the audit process.