Harmon Releases Audit of McCreary County Sheriff’s Fee Account
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
FRANKFORT, Ky. – State Auditor Mike Harmon today released the audit of the 2021 financial statement of McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters. State law requires the auditor to annually audit the accounts of each county sheriff. In compliance with this law, the auditor issues two sheriff’s reports each year: one reporting on the audit of the sheriff’s tax account, and the other reporting on the audit of the fee account used to operate the office.
Auditing standards require the auditor’s letter to communicate whether the financial statement presents fairly the receipts, disbursements and excess fees of the McCreary County Sheriff in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The sheriff’s financial statement did not follow this format. However, the sheriff’s financial statement is fairly presented in conformity with the regulatory basis of accounting, which is an acceptable reporting methodology. This reporting methodology is followed for all 120 sheriff audits in Kentucky.
As part of the audit process, the auditor must comment on noncompliance with laws, regulations, contracts, and grants. The auditor must also comment on material weaknesses involving the internal control over financial operations and reporting.
The audit contains the following comment:
The McCreary County Sheriff’s Office does not have adequate segregation of duties: This is a repeat finding and was included in the prior year audit report as Finding 2020-001. The McCreary County Sheriff’s Office does not have adequate segregation of duties. The sheriff’s bookkeeper collects payments from customers, prepares deposits, writes checks, posts transactions to the receipts ledger, posts checks to the disbursements ledger, and prepares monthly and quarterly reports. The sheriff or another employee did not document oversight of any of these activities.
According to the sheriff, this condition is a result of a limited budget, which restricts the number of employees the sheriff can hire or delegate duties to. A lack of segregation of incompatible duties or strong oversight increases the risk that undetected errors could occur. A proper segregation of duties over the accounting and reporting functions such as preparation of the quarterly reports or implementing compensating controls, when necessary because of a limited number of staff, is essential for providing protection from undetected errors. Additionally, a proper segregation of duties protects employees in the normal course of performing their daily responsibilities.
We recommend the McCreary County Sheriff separate the duties involved in receiving cash, preparing deposits, writing checks, posting to ledgers, preparing monthly bank reconciliations, and comparing financial reports to ledgers. If this is not feasible due to a limited budget, cross-checking procedures could be implemented and documented by the individual performing the procedure.
County Sheriff’s Response: The official did not provide a response.
The sheriff’s responsibilities include collecting property taxes, providing law enforcement and performing services for the county fiscal court and courts of justice. The sheriff’s office is funded through statutory commissions and fees collected in conjunction with these duties.
The audit report can be found on the auditor’s website.
The Auditor of Public Accounts ensures that public resources are protected, accurately valued, properly accounted for, and effectively employed to raise the quality of life of Kentuckians.
Call 1-800-KY-ALERT or visit our website to report suspected waste and abuse.