Audit: City coffers financially healthyThe city of Superior received a clean bill of health financially. The city received an unqualified opinion of its financial statements following an audit of its finances for 2012.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
The city of Superior received a clean bill of health financially.
The city received an unqualified opinion of its financial statements following an audit of its finances for 2012.
Wipfli LLP, the city’s auditing firm, reported the only weakness found in the city’s financial reporting was related to internal controls related to the small number of staff members in the finance department.
Finance Director Jean Vito said it is always her goal to have a clean — unqualified — opinion of the city’s financial statements.
“The fact is that we do the financial statements,” said Dan Walker of Wipfli. “In a perfect world, we come in and audit the financial statements. The breadth of this document — not too many cities are going to be able to put this together so then when we put it together it’s considered an internal control weakness and we just have to report it.”
The audit, like those in the past, also reported issues with the segregation of duties when it comes to the city’s finances. Walker said that is the result of not having sufficient accounting staff to segregate duties; however, it’s nothing unusual either.
Vito said city departments are working to stay within budget. She said she’s seen department managers staying within their budgets more and more in recent years.
“We had a number of years where both police and fire were over (budget),” Vito said. “The police department actually returned $99,000 in 2012, and public works $350,000, which is pretty typical,” Vito said.
She said the city is sitting in a good position financially and the city debt is manageable and nowhere near the city’s debt limit.
However, the city is facing some deficits in fund balances.
She said while most are small deficits, one as low as $25, there are some areas of concern, such as the $655,000 deficit — the largest — is in the city’s tax increment finance district 11, the Blaine-Central site.
There are fewer of those deficit balances than in years past,” Walker said.
“That’s really cleaned up over the last few years,” he said.
Some of those deficit balances are related to grants and matching funds.
Vito said in some cases, like the city’s flood fund, it’s a result of not drawing down funds, and in some cases it’s a matter of not keeping up with the city’s matching share for grants.
“There’s a significant amount of grants, both federal and state, that the city receives,” Walker said.
Grants from federal and state sources totaled about $6.8 million in 2012.
In testing major grant programs, Walker said they found no deficiencies.
“We didn’t find any compliance issues and that’s a good thing,” he said.
The city has had positive increases in net assets and fund balances in 2012.
“Overall, I think the city’s been doing a good job, and I can’t speak for what the community says … but financially I think it’s pretty great,” Walker said.