Independent audit supports Garfield County financial report

Finance department commended on 2016 accounting

July 14, 2017

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – An independent audit of Garfield County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) found the accounting for 2016 to be in good order and conducted with the highest standards.

Paul Backes, CPA, from McMahan and Associates, L.L.C. presented the findings of the CAFR audit to the Board of County Commissioners. He said the firm studies the CAFR, and offers opinions on the financial statements, and points out any issues they may come across.

In spite of lower property tax revenues in 2016, Garfield County has retained its strong financial position. According to the CAFR, the county has $467.2 million in total assets, of which infrastructure amounts to $298 million. Backes said he feels Garfield County “has very good asset control,” in accounting for all property and fixed assets.

Total government fund revenues in 2016 were $99.6 million, a 0.3 percent decrease from 2015. Total governmental expenditures were $97.2 million, a 4.7 percent decrease from the prior year. At the end of 2016, the county’s fund balance was $121.9 million, an increase of two percent. The General Fund had an ending fund balance of $45.4 million, which was a 12.4 percent or $5 million increase during 2016.

“You’ve historically gotten (the Government Finance Officers Association’s) certificate of financial reporting achievement,” Backes told the commissioners. “And I anticipate that you’ll get that again. In my opinion, the financial statements are very good.”

The annual county report is submitted to the GFOA, and a state auditor for a secondary analysis.

The audit report noted that the CAFR provided a fair representation of Garfield County’s financial status as of December 31, 2016, and “ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.”

The Finance Department continually meets the highest standards in government accounting and financial reporting. It has received both the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports award and the Distinguished Budget Presentation award in each of the past eight years.

Backes said that his firm would likely come up with some recommendations in its assessment for any entity the size of Garfield County.

“It’s a good report,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said. “Congratulations to the accounting department for the work you do. This is a good report. It’s nice to work for a county that has these kind of reserves and no debt. So, job well done.”