County gets good audit report

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Austin County commissioners met with an independent auditor Monday morning and received a favorable audit report for 2019-2020.

Auditor Wayne Beyer of Beyer Company CPA provided the annual report which shows the county to be in good financial shape.

“This is what’s called an unmodified opinion,” Beyer said. “There’s basically four different kinds of opinions that can be given and this is the highest form of opinion. It means nothing came to our attention that would require us to qualify in any manner.”

He said the county has a very healthy reserve balance, often called a rainy-day fund.

“You see $1.728 million, that’s how much the reserves in the general fund increased last year,” Beyer said. “The number below that, the $10.6 million, that was your reserve at the beginning of the year. … If you add those two together you have a reserve fund of $12,359,000. If you compare that with your expenditures for that year … $14 million, you have almost an 80-85% coverage; about 9- to 10-month coverage there. Generally, the standard is you want to have three months coverage, and so you have good reserves there.”

He did recommend that the district clerk and county clerk stop depositing fees they collect into their own bank accounts and instead turn them directly over to the county treasurer. Breyer also noted that there were delays reconciling bank accounts.

“We noticed that bank accounts are not being reconciled in a timely manner,” he said.

Treasurer Bryan Haevischer said that the bank reconciliation has been corrected and is taking place on a regular basis.

Commissioners started the regular meeting Monday with a presentation to Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Chislett by the state for COVID-19 response. He was presented a proclamation by County Judge Tim Lapham.

“I should give credit to the state of Texas because as long as I’ve been in this position they’ve been working with Emergency Management, planning and networking and should a pandemic ever occur, we were thinking a little more regional than what was planned but it worked out for the worldwide pandemic, so I thank you all and I am honored,” he said.

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