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Elkins receives ‘unmodified’ audit opinion

ELKINS — The City of Elkins has once again received an “unmodified” audit opinion, as it has every year since 2012.

“We received our ninth unmodified opinion in a row,” Treasurer Tracy Judy said during the most recent Elkins City Council meeting. “That means the auditors didn’t find any discrepancies or areas of concern.”

The audit of the city’s financial records from the 2019-2020 fiscal year was performed by BHM CPA Group, an Ohio-based public accounting firm with offices in Huntington. State law requires municipalities to undergo annual independent audits.

Auditors review a city’s accounting procedures and examining financial records related to revenues and expenditures, grant administration, bank accounts and more. Auditors also evaluate a city’s fraud-prevention safeguards and compliance with state law and government accounting standards.

“Receiving an unmodified opinion confirms that our daily procedures are correct, which is important for both councilors and the public to know,” Judy said. “I’m proud of the hard, careful work my team puts into safeguarding public funds.”

A City of Elkins press release states, “The audit process begins each summer with a letter from the state auditor authorizing the procurement of an audit and providing a list of approved accounting firms. The city’s Audit Committee then solicits and evaluates proposals from at least three firms on this list. The evaluation process uses a score sheet published by the state auditor to assign points to the firms that submit proposals. Per the state auditor, the firm with the highest score must then be selected to perform the city’s audit.

“Next, the selected firm receives the city’s financial statements, which are published each fall,” according to the release. “The firm examines these statements carefully and uses them to devise an audit plan, including questions to be answered and tests to be performed.

“Some of these questions are answered through correspondence and phone calls. Then, usually in January, the firm sends a team of accountants to visit city hall. Over the course of about a week, these accountants request records and interview staff members. One of this team’s tasks is the random sampling of transactions from the year under review, to ensure that the proper authorization, execution, and accounting records can be produced on demand.

“Several weeks after this on-site visit concludes, the firm transmits the results of the audit to council,” the release states.

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