County receives ‘clean’ audit report

Published 7:47 pm Friday, February 5, 2021

Beaufort County finances received a “clean” audit report for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams and Co., of Whiteville, conducted the audit. Managing Partner Alan Thompson presented the audit report to the Beaufort County Commissioners Monday. Thompson said there were “no significant audit findings.”

“As of June 30, 2020 (the end of the fiscal year), Beaufort County’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $32,402,047, an increase of $3,329,802 in comparison with the prior year,” the audit report reads.  “Approximately 37.88% of this total amount or $12,274,602 is restricted or committed. Also at June 30, 2020, unassigned fund balance for the General Fund was $20,463,556, or 34.83% of total general fund expenditures of $58,759,368 for the fiscal year.”

The county’s total debt decreased by $3,658,720, or 6.43%. The auditors attributed that decrease to scheduled payments on outstanding debt.

Accounting for both governmental activities and business-type activities, Beaufort County brought in $79,785,746 in total revenue and recorded $74,471,671 in expenditures.

The county’s net position — the amount by which its assets and deferred outflows of resources exceeded its liabilities and deferred inflows of resources — was  $65,136,398.

The total general fund revenue for 2019-20 was $62,547,886, $481,263 more than what was budgeted. The leading contributor was ad valorem taxes ($37,158,836, which was $397,760 more than the final budget), followed by restricted intergovernmental funds ($10,753,803, $943,538 less than what was budgeted) and sales tax ($10,232,655, $745,759 more than the final budget).

General fund expenditures totaled $57,018,008, which is $2,886,406 less than what the county budgeted for. The highest expenditures were on education ($18,839,953, which is $12,600 under budget), human services ($15,257,067, which is $792,691 under budget) and public safety ($12,860,884, which is $490,280 under budget.

The audit report includes two findings related to Medicaid. The first finding has to do with the county’s system for determining eligibility for Medicaid.

“There were 14 errors discovered during our procedures that inaccurate information was entered when determining eligibility,” the audit document reads. “Of these, one beneficiary received assistance from the wrong class of program because the case file was not reviewed timely.”
The Beaufort County Department of Social Services can work with child support agencies to obtain financial or medical support payments from a child’s non-custodial parent. Under its second finding, the auditors said they discovered two errors in which referrals between DSS and the child support agencies weren’t properly made. Those errors didn’t affect Medicaid eligibility in either case.

The auditors worked with all parties involved to come up with corrective procedures for both findings.