Franklin County Finance Department Payroll Specialist Patty Custer, from left, stands with Finance Director Andrea Smith, holding the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s stellar annual financial report for the county, along with Accounts Payable Specialist Lila Wilkinson and Human Resource Director Annette Sisk in their department located at the Franklin County Annex Building in Winchester.
—Staff Photo by Philip J. Lorenz III
Tennessee Comptroller Justin P. Wilson has announced that Franklin County is among just eight Tennessee counties that achieved a clean audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.
In addition to Franklin County, other counties receiving a clean audit include, Bedford, Gibson, Giles, Marshall, Rutherford, Tipton and Unicoi. These counties’ audit reports were completed without any findings.
To have such a clean outcome is extremely positive and speaks well for how Franklin County government manages its finances, according to County Mayor Richard Stewart.
“This is great news,” he said. “It says a lot for the running of the government because all the department heads, and the Finance Office have worked hard, everybody. It’s been a team effort to get that (recognition).”
Stewart has served 11 year at the county’s helm, and the recent honors are the most significant he’s seen thus far.
“That’s the first one we’ve ever had with no findings,” he said.
Finance Director Andrea Smith echoed Stewart’s assessment.
“I’m very proud and very excited about it,” she said, referring to the accolades.
However, Smith was quick to point out that it was an effort shared by all the county’s departments, and the unified move led to the clean bill of financial health.
“We’re all very excited about it, and it’s something we’re going to strive to get next year,” she said.
Only a select number of Tennessee counties will receive an audit report without a finding indicating weaknesses or deficiencies in government operations.
Only 12 counties audited by the Comptroller’s Office received clean audit reports in fiscal year 2016.
Wilson explains that clean audits reveal a strong system that allows for accurate financial reporting and clear checks and balances that help protect taxpayer money.
“The residents of these counties should be encouraged that county leaders and elected officials are taking their responsibilities seriously. A clean audit is a positive sign that a county government is on track,” Wilson said. “I commend all of the elected officials, leaders, and county staff who have committed to a well-run government. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
All eight audit reports can be found at http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/la/.
The Comptroller’s Office will continue to release fiscal year 2017 audits through March of 2018.
If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of public money in Tennessee, call the Comptroller’s toll-free hotline at (800) 232-5454, or file a report online at: www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline. Follow us on twitter: @TNCOT.