Clean audit

Assistant Finance Director Cindy Latham proudly holds a plaque from the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, awarded to Franklin County for having a clean audit. Making the presentation are Commissioners Carolyn Wiseman, from left, Angie Fuller and Barbara Finney. The honors mark the second year in a row the county has been recognized for having a financial clean slate.

For two years in a row, officials who handle Franklin County’s budget details have come through with a clean audit from the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.

Cindy Latham, assistant finance director, was presented with a plaque during the Oct. 21 County Commission meeting that highlighted the accolades.

She said that it’s an honor to have Franklin County recognized for being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.

“We’re glad to get it,” Latham said referring to the clean audit honors. “We’re going to try for another one to make it three in a row, but you never know.”

The audit plaque includes a framed certificate that references the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018.

It says:

“The audit report completed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury contained zero findings and is an indication of the county’s strong system of internal control and exemplary financial reporting in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.”

The certificate is signed by Comptroller of the Treasury Justin P. Wilson and Deputy Comptroller Jason E. Mumpower.

Franklin County Finance Director Andrea Smith, who was unable to attend the Oct. 21 commission meeting, said the audit covers a very broad base — essentially anyone within county government who handles money.

In addition to the Finance Department, that means the Sheriff’s Office, the Franklin County School System, the Solid Waste Department, the Highway Department and others that collect money and forward the transactions and financial data to the Finance Department, which drafts the overall budget at the discretion of the County Commission.

Smith paid tribute to her staff for their diligence in ensuring all the financial t’s and i’s get figuratively crossed and dotted.

“It’s a big working puzzle to put it all together,” she said. “And it involves a lot of people, not just one person.”

Smith said the staff’s diligence in getting the numbers right with many questions might sometimes irritate some county officials, but, in the end, the dividends are worth it.

“They’re the ones who make sure everything gets done,” she said, referring to her staff. “Sometimes people get tired of it, but they really appreciate it when we all come through with a clean audit.”

She echoed Latham’s enthusiasm about a potential three-peat with the 2019 fiscal year’s audit.

“It’s great we got two in a row,” Smith said. “I hope we can get it again.”