Wood County Commission Considers Full-Time Finance Director Post | News, Sports, Jobs


PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission is considering the possibility of hiring a full-time treasurer following an audit of county finances.

Perry and Associates’ Jodi Altier and Brett Burns appeared before the Wood County Commission on Thursday to discuss the county’s audit.

Altair dealt with the findings and Burns talked about the recommendations. Both said they made their findings independent of each other.

Overall the audit went smoothly without any noticeable issues “red flag” Mr. Altier said there were all actions that raised serious concerns.

“We review all numbers and express our opinion that your numbers are accurate.” she said. “It’s a clean audit.”

They then looked at internal controls, checks and balances in the way work was done. She found no significant weaknesses that would cause numerical errors.

The county is doing exactly what it’s supposed to in terms of federal grant requirements.

People at the County Clerk’s Office and the Sheriff’s Tax Department are working to validate numbers to balance some of the discrepancies found in capital assets (which track the county’s assets). Years ago, an accountant would come and help the clerical staff room calculate the depreciation of an asset, but the secretariat did not change its internal schedule and somewhere There was a discrepancy.

“These are issues that have been going on for years.” Altier said past county clerk’s used auditors to help determine what the numbers should be, and the auditors accurately reflected that in their reports, but internal schedules and The numbers were out of balance, he said.

The accountants found several discrepancies in accounting practices, outdated accounting software used by the county, and an auditor failing to properly account for approximately $100,000. Authorities were able to uncover some of its whereabouts.

Officials said the gold was not stolen and they were having trouble tracking down the transaction, even though the final figures have yet to be added up.

“Not a single penny has been balanced for a while.” Altier said of the practice over the years:

Commissioner Blair Couch believes this has been going on for four or five years.

“We are moving further and further away from this event by the day, so 10 years from now we will still be talking about it.” Couch asked.

“Nobody stole the money. There is an accounting error as to where the money is.” he rather “rounding error”

With a county budget of less than $30 million, this error accounts for less than half of the 1 percent of the total budget.

Burns said that’s why he has a financial officer. “Have someone who can dig into the numbers and take the time to really look into it.”

“A full-time finance director will own and perfect the system and that will be their sole responsibility.” He said.

He told commissioners that the costs could be high, with an estimated $93,000 a year including benefits for the county to hire CPA-level personnel.

Officials say the commissioner will be an employee of the commission rather than a county clerk or sheriff.

Burns said some people will try to hire people with accounting degrees, but they won’t have the experience or professionalism the county needs. He also advised counties to update their accounting software.

“There’s really no one with an accounting degree who’s actually working for the county.” Couch said.

Couch said the county has had a new sheriff and a new county clerk in recent years and is discovering things that haven’t been done properly in the past.

“I believe in the team here and I think everyone is taking it seriously.” He said.

Perry officials will also work with Perry and Associates to provide more regular monthly and quarterly reports, including regular reporting to the Commission on the state of county finances and where improvements have been made. recommended monitoring. Burns estimated that it would cost him $3,000 per quarter to do this.

“We do this for our clients, and it’s become even more common these days as standards become more stringent.” He said.

Secretary Jimmy Colombo said taxpayers have a right to know the facts are accurate.

Officials were there, happy to find things and recommend best practices.

“This audit actually found some solutions.” Couch said. “We take that recommendation seriously.”

Other businesses:

* Commissioners discussed the county’s employee health insurance coverage with Mark Schwendemann of Schwendemann Insurance. Commissioners were told that medical costs were rising and would be reflected in the county’s bill. Authorities are looking at ways to keep costs down for county officials.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com.

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