MONCKS CORNER, S.C.– (Tuesday, January 28, 2020) The 2019 Berkeley County audit was presented to County Council on Monday, January 27, and showed incredible improvement from the 2018 report. The County received an “Unmodified Opinion” from its outside auditors, Scott and Company. This represents the best possible opinion the County can receive. The full video from the County Council meeting can be found HERE.
The audit report showed a substantial increase in the general fund, with the County at $6.5 million revenues over expenditures; whereas, the 2018 general fund operations had a loss of $2.3 million.
Per the fund balance policy set forth by Council, the County’s fund balance must have at least 17% of the upcoming fiscal year’s budgeted expenditures. Therefore, the County’s fund balance for 2019 needed to be at least $15.5 million. The audit report shows the fund balance at $22.6 million, which is $7.1 million above the minimum. The report shows a strong fund balance position, or county financial savings. The fund balance currently is at 24.85%.
“In fiscal year 2018, we lost money. The prior administration… spent more money than we took in- millions of dollars… This year, our expenditures were below our budget and we took in more revenues. We had almost an $8 million, $9 million swing, just because the people elected someone different and we had different leadership. I think that’s important that we contributed to the fund balance instead of taking away.” -Councilman Josh Whitley, Chairman of the Finance Committee
The positive fund balance for fiscal year 2019 was the result of several things, to include:
- A more conservative approach to revenue projections
- Avoiding budget amendments throughout the year
- Employees and departments working with the finance staff monthly to manage their respective budgets
- Salary savings due to vacant positions throughout the year
- A one-time transfer of $3.4 million from the Register of Deeds office that had not been properly transferred to the general fund since fiscal year 2016.
“We are committed to being fiscally responsible, and this year’s audit reflects just that. I’d like to commend each and every employee, along with our finance team for committing daily to being good stewards of all taxpayer and County funds we are entrusted with. We will continue to strive to put the County in a financial position to provide high-level services while keeping your County taxes among the lowest in the state.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb
– Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office –