The Richmond Register

October 26, 2012

State audit of county clerk reports only one discrepancy

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — State Auditor Adam Edelen found only one discrepancy in the Madison County Clerk’s Office after examining its day-to-day operations for the year ending Dec. 31, 2011.

The only finding listed in the audit was that “The County Clerk had receipts that were not deposited timely,” the audit states.

Despite the minor finding, Madison Judge/Executive Kent Clark said he is pleased with the job Barger is doing.

“He’s doing an outstanding job,” Clark said. “He’s made it a lot easier and more convenient for the residents of the county.”

The first check mentioned totaled $22,594.99 and was dated Sept. 30, 2011. It was not deposited until Nov. 16, 2011, according to the audit.

The second check, totaling $924.48 was dated May 3, 2011 and was not deposited until May 27, 2011.

“Both of these were reimbursements from the state for the primary election and general election,” said Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger.

“We’ve made drastic changes to the accounting procedures,” he said.

After a review of the office’s bookkeeping division, “It was apparent that the office was lacking financial policies and procedures to ensure errors, such as deposits not being deposited in a timely matter did not occur,” Barger said.

“Prior to this audit, our office contracted with a part-time audit consultant to assist in tightening our financial policies and procedures. Since the arrival of the contract employee, a variety of changes have been made, including the production of a policy and procedure manual addressing issues like the timeliness in which checks are to be deposited.”

A new accounting software also has been installed to ensure the automatic deposit of checks and the production of a receipt to verify the check’s deposit, he said.

In counties with a population of 70,000 or more, 25 percent of the funds collected through the county clerk’s office must be given back to the county government. This money is paid quarterly, according to information in the audit.

The Madison County Clerk had total receipts of $20,687,376, which was a $1,472,956 increase from the prior year, the audit states.

The 25 percent paid back to the county totaled $490,386.

“This was an increase of $22,639 from the prior year,” according to the audit. “In addition, disbursements increased by $1,389,854.”

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.