The Whitley County Sheriff received a relatively clean audit from Mike Harmon, the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts.
“I am extremely pleased with the audit. All the money is accounted for,” said Whitley County Sheriff Todd Shelley.
The audit consisted of two findings. The first stated, “The Whitley County Sheriff’s Office does not have adequate segregation of duties.”
“I know when I went to the Sheriff’s convention there are were several other sheriffs who always get wrote up for segregation of duties,” said Sheriff Shelley. “We are shorthanded. The money is not there to pay more employees.”
Michael Goins, the Director of Communications for the Auditor of Public Accounts, said the finding is probably the most common in audits.
Harmon recommends the Sheriff’s office, “Separate the duties involved in receiving cash, preparing deposits, writing checks, posting to ledgers, preparing monthly bank reconciliations, and comparing financial reports to ledgers to separate individuals.”
If those actions are not feasible for the department, the auditor recommends, “cross checking procedures should be implemented and documented by the individual performing the procedures.”
The second finding stated, “The Whitley County Sheriff’s fourth quarter report was not accurate.”
The finding further details that the report given to the Department of Local Government (DLG) was submitted without including receivables and liabilities.
According to the audit, “Receipts were understated by $69,824 and operating disbursements were understated by $79,117, resulting in receipts and disbursements reported to the regulating bodies and to the public to be inaccurate.”
No money was missing from the accounts.
“It means that there is not money missing,” said Groins. “He made those payments, but just in the amounts that he provided to the DLG, those amounts did not show up.”
“It was just, for lack of a better term, it was more than likely just a clerical error where those amounts had been taken care of, but when that information was submitted to the DLG, that information was not part of that,” said Goins.
The auditor’s recommendation was for the Sheriff’s office to implement stronger internal controls over the financial reporting process.
Goins said that the Sheriff’s office is not alone in receiving those findings in the audit.
“These two findings are findings that we see with other county officials throughout Kentucky, so it is not an isolated finding,” said Goins.