Elkins officials are thrilled by the results of the independent party audit of the city for the fiscal year of 2012, which reported the best results in years.
"The audit gives credibility to the financial statements," Treasurer Lisa Daniels-Smith said, stressing the importance of the audit results. "It's the independent outside firm saying, 'What she said happened, happened.'"
There are three possible opinions on the city's finances such an audit can return, Daniels-Smith said: an adverse, or negative, opinion; a qualified, or mixed, opinion, meaning there are multiple problems; or an unqualified, or positive opinion.
The city received an unqualified opinion in the 2012 audit, prepared by the Perry & Associates firm of Parkersburg.
"It is an unqualified opinion," Daniels-Smith said at Thursday's Elkins City Council meeting. "That is the best achievement that anybody can get on an audit. I am very pleased to say that the City of Elkins received an unqualified opinion for the fiscal year of 2012."
The independent auditor's report states, "In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material aspects, the respective financial position of the governmental activities, the business-type activities, the discretely presented component unit, each major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information of the City of Elkins."
"We conducted out audit to opine on the financial statements that collectively comprise the City's basic financial statements taken as a whole," the report states. "... in our opinion, this information is fairly stated in all material respects in relation to the basic financial statements taken as a whole."
This is only the fourth unqualified opinion the city has received in an audit during the last 17 years, and the first since the 2006 audit.
In the council members' informational packets, Daniels-Smith included a table showing that the city received an adverse, or negative, opinion in both the 1980 and 1981 audits. She also listed the audit opinions from 1995 to 2011, saying she could not locate the audit results from 1982 to 1994.
Mayor Van Broughton praised Daniels-Smith and her staff for achieving the audit results.
"It makes us look a lot better," Councilman Bob Woolwine, chairman of the Finance Committee, said.