Douglas County’s Finances Get Good Grades At Audit
As taxpayers, we depend upon our lawmakers to not only be good stewards of the funding we provide, but to also do it in an above-board manner. Residents of Douglas County received good news with a recent general audit: their finances are in good shape.
The recent audit performed by Wipfli CPA's and Consultants reviewed the county's 2019 financial statements, internal controls, and compliance with both state and federal program requirements All three areas received a clean bill of health according to news sources.
In addition to the good news in relationship to reporting and budgetary practices, the audit also shared the positive outcomes the county has made in regards to general financial stability. "Total assets and deferred outflows were down $3.4 million in 2018 [while] [a]ccounts receivable were down $1.1 million". Rob Ganschow from Wipfli CPS's and Consultants offered "[w]hile that may sound bad, it's actually good. That Means you have less amounts outstanding to be collected from customers or other entities that you work with. In essence, you received that cash and you're not waiting to be paid for the services or items that you provided".
Other liabilities were down for the county while other revenue lines were up in 2019. "Total liabilities and deferred inflows decreased by $3.9 million" according to news sources, while "[p]rogram revenue increased about $760,000". Details from the audit show that sources of program revenues include things like charges for services the county provides and revenue streams from state and federal sources.
In regards to general fund balances, Douglas County was also in good shape. The county's fund balances represented 39% of the total general expenditures in 2019; again, audit officials said this is ideal:
"That's a good position to be in because it allows the county to not have to do short-term borrowing to continue to pay for regular operations of the county"
As the 2019 audit stands, Douglas County is performing well in relationship to other jurisdictions in Wisconsin - trailing only Barron County in fund balances that are "considered as a percentage of general fund expenditures". Comparing the debt positions of assorted counties is more difficult according to auditors because "the condition of assets - such as governmental buildings and roads - is not known".