Houston County Receives Positive Audit Report

“Unmodified” Opinion Provided by Outside Auditors

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – In spite of the uncertain times faced by Houston County, the finances of the oldest county in Texas appear to be in order, according to findings by the accounting firm of Todd, Hamaker and Johnson, LLP.

During a called meeting of the Houston County Commissioners Court, CPA Kim Johnson – a partner in the accounting firm – provided her company’s findings of the yearly audit conducted on the county’s 2016 books.

“We have had the pleasure of doing the county’s audit for several years now and I do continue to enjoy doing that and I thank you,” Johnson began.

Johnson said the report was based on information for the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2016.

“There are essentially two components on the audit we do each year on the county. We look at the financial statements and assess the accuracy, the reasonableness and we do a lot of testing on the financial statements themselves. We also do another section which is referred to as a single audit which concerns the compliance related to grants and federal awards the county has received,” she said.

The first area she covered was the audit opinion.

“Our opinion is what is referred to as an unmodified opinion, which is the best you can get,” Johnson explained. “Our opinion, the financial statements we are referring to, presents fairly in all material respects, the respective financial position and the changes in the financial position in the county and all its major funds.”

As she continued, Johnson said the county’s net position is $6,163,234. She explained a large portion of the county’s net position was made up of capital assets related to the county infrastructure.

Another area she discussed was the restricted assets such as grants which could only be spent in areas specified by the individual grants. The unrestricted assets, monies available to the county to spend, were also covered.

Johnson indicated the county’s net position had decreased from 2015 to 2016 and explained one of the major factors in this decrease was going from over $5 million in grants and contributions in 2015 to under $2 million for 2016.

“The biggest factor there was that in 2015 you received $2.5 million from Hurricane Ike. That was a very unusual year. The number in 2016 is much closer to a normal year so that contributed to the drop,” she said.

Other contributing factors which contributed to the decrease were a loss in timber and mineral funds, lowered sales tax revenue and a loss of revenue from the Houston County Jail for the housing out-of-county inmates.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

Similar Posts

One Comment

Comments are closed.