– “Thurston Auditor’s office awarded 10th Annual…Financial Reporting Achievement”
“The U.S. Government Finance Officers Association awarded Thurston County the 10th annual Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The certificate is the highest form of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
According to Auditor Hall, ‘Attaining this award represents a significant accomplishment by our county. It reflects a high level of financial management. I am proud of our Financial Services division for their quality controls and long-time excellence.’
Judged by an impartial panel, the CAFR must meet high standards, including demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users to read the CAFR,” quoting Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall.
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Yes, I’ve been looking at the CAFR yearly report for Thurston County and would like to see something very similar happen with our City of Yelm finance department. While I realize the City of Yelm is too small to be required this process they can opt into the process. Much of these requirements originated through the Government nation wide push for more transparency and Government-wide consistency for government financial reporting. The City of Yelm’s last audit was for the two year period ending Dec. 2013. That audit shows significant material misstatements one of which was a misstatement in the amount of $1 million. Since the City of Yelm uses a single entry form of bookkeeping in cash accounting, these kinds of misstatements are inherently predicable. The whole purpose behind allowing such a simplistic system was to not over burden smaller municipalities since many small ones usually had bookkeepers and or part-time financial support. The City of Yelm has grown considerably and we pay at least one Financial person a good salary to know accounting principles. So why do we continue to not move toward more financial clarity in providing information to the Public. I for one have been trying to get financials from the City of Yelm finance person for several months. When I send him or leave him a message I get no contact until I involve other people. Then he will respond but for one a portion of my question. I have not been able to receive anything past Dec 2013 in financials. I understand the audit for the two year period ending Dec 2015 maybe done soon….however, what about 2016. Clearly, the board members are looking at something to determine the 2017 budget. Why can’t citizens see the financials? I have run out of person time to badger our Financial person at the City to get more information that should be made available to me within 5 days of my request. Now the City is talking about establishing a budget that will be $500,000 above our projected revenues for 2017. While I understand that the city has to work on this budget it makes me very uneasy that I can not get a financial past Dec of 2013 on this day of November 17, 2016. I say we demand our City of Yelm Finance department become more responsive and provide more transparency into the City of Yelm finances immediately.
I totally concur Ms. Harris.
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