State auditors: no problems with city finances

October 20, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

State auditors found no problems with the way city staffers handle Issaquah finances, a recently released 2008 audit shows. The city performed well on the annual assessment of city finances, and staffers took steps to correct a trouble spot auditors discovered in 2007.The audit, completed by the state Auditor’s Office, also examined how the city complied with federal laws and regulations. The document, released Sept. 30, helps staffers develop better practices, city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan wrote in response to e-mailed questions.

“The city is always looking for ways to increase its efficiencies and improve its processes,” she wrote. “State audits are one example of the tools used to help us achieve those goals.”

After the 2007 audit, for instance, city employees had to take steps to better record assets obtained through annexations and right-of-way acquisitions.

“During our 2007 audit, we noted that finance management did not provide adequate oversight of financial reporting,” auditors wrote.

The oversight was a result of a new reporting requirement that took effect in 2007, auditors said.

The state team noted how Issaquah employees took steps to update the methods used for financial reporting, and followed the proper procedures in 2008.

Auditors “had a few changes to how Issaquah reported some of its financial items,” Monahan wrote. “The city has complied with all of these changes (some of these items were even addressed for 2008 before the 2007 audit began).”

During the audit, a team from the Auditor’s Office worked at City Hall.

“City staff support this process by providing information and answering the auditors’ questions,” Monahan wrote.

Employees were aware of the requirement to record assets acquired through annexations or right-of-way acquisitions and followed the correct steps last year, auditors wrote. Employees used a database to ensure assets were recorded correctly, the audit shows.

City Finance Department employees also began developing a financial statement preparation and review checklist that will assign responsibility to employees for each section of the process.

“Overall, the audit shows how hard our finance team works to ensure responsible and efficient use of the public’s funds,” Monahan wrote.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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