Good marks in county cash-handling audit

Several suggestions made to strengthen internal controls

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

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Cash-handling practices for 31 internal accounts reviewed this year by the Clark County Auditor’s Office received good marks, according to a report released Wednesday.

The county has 79 cash fund accounts, and accounts are audited on a three-year cycle.

The audits, which included unannounced cash counts and examinations of internal controls and other safeguards, are a large but necessary undertaking, said Auditor Greg Kimsey.

“We think that by maintaining a consistent presence throughout the county and looking at these procedures demonstrates to staff that we care about internal controls,” Kimsey said.

“It helps people build relationships, so if there is an issue, they feel they can come to us,” he said. “We give them a card that says, ‘We are from the auditor’s office. We are here to help.’”

While no major problems were identified, Kimsey’s office did make several recommendations to strengthen internal controls.

For example, in two reviews, auditors found receipt books that were not secured when not in use; in one review there was a checking account that should have been closed.

In one department, auditors found three incomplete receipts.

Receipts used to support petty cash expenditures should include vendor, date of purchase, purchased items and amount paid, according to the report.

The audit included reviews of seven professional service contracts. One contract was missing from the file.

“If the required work meets standards for a contract, there should be a contract,” an auditor wrote.

The 79 fund accounts have a total current balance of $260,645.

Kimsey said there were no repeat findings or recommendations, as previous recommendations had been followed.

He said he was pleased that department managers have stepped up and are reviewing their cash-handling operations.

To read the report, “Review of Selected Internal Controls,” go to Audit Reports.

To request a copy of the report, call 360-397-2310, ext. 4790.

Stephanie Rice: http://www.facebook.com/reporterrice;">www.facebook.com/reporterrice;">http://www.facebook.com/reporterrice;http://twitter.com/col_clarkgov;stephanie.rice@columbian.com.