Johnson: State audit of county finding ‘inconsistent,’ ‘petty’

The Washington State Auditor’s Office issued an audit finding against Island County for a budget reporting error.

Auditors found the county had incorrectly reported transfers between managerial funds throughout 2017. No assets were lost or misappropriated, according to the report.

For overhead expenditures, the county uses money from the General Fund, which is later reimbursed by other funds. Staff from the county inaccurately reported the reimbursements as “transfers in” and “transfers out” of the other funds.

The report states that the errors were caused by staff being unaware of how to correctly report cost allocation reimbursements.

County Commissioner Jill Johnson said she believes the simplified way the budget office explains the budget to the commissioners resulted in the auditor’s office using the same type of language in its reporting.

A review of accounting best practices and training will be implemented to address the issue, she said.

Johnson noted that the county had been reporting its budget in this manner for the last 10 years and, though it is audited every year, this is the first time a finding has been issued on it.

Johnson said she didn’t take issue with changing practices, but felt this finding was “inconsistent” and “petty.”

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