Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The annual audit of Washington County showed no major issues.
On June 3, the State Auditor’s Office issued its annual report on Washington County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.
“There were no major issues, but there are some things we need to work on as an entire county,” Washington County Auditor Dan Widmer said.
The report noted some internal control deficiencies including segregation of duties in all county departments.
“A good system of internal control provides for adequate segregation of duties so no one individual handles a transaction from its inception to completion,” the report stated. “In order to maintain proper internal control, duties should be segregated so the authorization, custody and recording of transactions are not under the control of the same employee.”
Widmer said that segregation of duties is an issue that faces many rural counties and cities.
“It’s a common thing noted on just about everyone’s audit,” Widmer said. “It’s a valid point, but it’s hard to address that without a lot of employees.”
The report also noted that capital assets were not properly recorded in the county’s financial statements.
State auditors attributed that to the fact that county policies do not require and procedures have not been established to require an independent review of capital asset transactions.
The county’s response was that it would develop written policies to deal with accurate reporting of capital assets.
A similar recommendation was made about establishing more safeguards in the county’s computer system including password privacy and requiring regular password changes.
“What they like to see is a formal written policy,” Widmer said. “That shows that you’ve thought through things.
“We’ve been working on them and just need to formalize them in writing.”
Overall, the audit found no issues of non-compliance.
“We’re pleased,” Widmer said. “There’s room for improvement, and we will be addressing some things with department heads over the next few weeks.”