Zebulon audit “clean,” reveals minor issues

amoody@newsobserver.comNovember 12, 2013 

— An audit presented last week showed Zebulon was clean in its financial reporting for the 2013 fiscal year. But the report named some minor areas for improvement.

In all, the audit found three reporting weaknesses, but one of them were significant.

“In the testing of credit card purchases, instances were noted in which no travel purpose was indicated, one receipt was missing and charges were made by an employee not included on the Credit Card Use Authorization Form,” said a letter from Joyce and Co. accountants to Zebulon elected.

Zebulon Finance Director Bobby Fitts likened the audit’s admonitions to a slap on the wrist for “minor stuff” commonly found in audits of town governments.

The omitted travel purpose turned out to be two cases in which a member of the town’s administrative staff was paying to park in a downtown Raleigh deck, Fitts said.

The missing receipt was for a $9 purchase made at Walgreens for supplies for the parks and recreation department.

“Occasionally there is a receipt lost here and there, and there is a form to fill out for that,” Fitts said.

Also, a police officer not authorized to use the town’s credit card made two purchases totaling $109 for three-ring binders and supplies for an officer promotion ceremony, Fitts said. About 25 staff members, mostly department heads and their division leaders, are authorized users of the town’s credit cards.

Fitts said town policy states a nonauthorized employee can use a town credit card with the approval of the town manager or finance director. That was done in this case, he said

Fitts said the town will work to address the areas of improvement suggested in the audit report.

“We’re going to update the user authorization list and just noting that when there’s sheets to turn in, be sure you write it on the receipt and file the receipt,” Fitts said.

Audit highlights

Zebulon’s June 30, 2013, general fund balance – or cash savings – was $6.809 million, a 3.5 percent increase since June 30, 2012.

The town collected $3,955,000 in taxes in the 2013 fiscal year – $24,000 more than in 2012 fiscal, despite the property tax base decreasing by $22.35 million.

The report shows general governmental debt of $5.093 million on June 30, 2013, up from $4.836 million in June 2012. The town’s water/sewer debt as of June 30 was $1 million, a decrease of $500,000 from the prior year.

Moody: 919-829-4806; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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