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NEWBERRY – The annual audit of the City's fiscal year 2014-2015 financial statements has been completed by Purvis, Gray & Company, the city's independent audit firm. Auditors Ron Whitesides and Barbara Boyd delivered the results to city commissioners at their May 23 meeting.

Overall, the City received an “Unmodified” Opinion on its Annual Financial Report, the best level an organization can receive on its financial statements.

The audit included a review, on a test basis, of documents supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The audit also included assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall general purpose financial statement presentation.

“We are happy with the report,” said Dallas Lee, Finance Director. “We almost always receive an unmodified opinion, which we are very proud of,” he said.

“At the end of the year, our assets exceeded our liabilities by more than $25 million. The city reduced its debt by around $300,000, a little more than 3 percent,” Lee said. “We put money into our reserves in most of our major funds. We saw an increase in revenue of 13 percent, and an increase in our expenses of 9 percent, which are both good increases.

“We're really pleased on the results of the audit. The auditors said a couple of times that we're making good progress putting money into our reserves.”

Although Lee said he has a 13-page summary of the financial statements if anyone wanted a high level overview of the City's finances, he commented that the final budget amount for the same time period was just shy of $32 million.

“We had some refunding of some bonds, which inflates the budget amount, but that one-time money comes in and goes back out. Without those funds, our budget would be a little over $20 million,” he said.

“Revenues were higher than we budgeted for and expenses were lower than we expected,” said Mayor Bill Conrad. “Best practices require us to have six months operating expenses in reserve in our General Fund. We had a rough couple of years because of the recession and revenues have been low. In this last year things have turned around. We were able to add to our General Fund reserves and are headed in the right direction. We're happy about that.”

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