The Tooele County Commission not only heard from its independent auditor Tuesday, but also received reports from its volunteer audit committee and budget advisory board.
The two citizen financial groups were created in October 2013 to allow the county commission to tap into the expertise of local financial experts.
The audit committee reviewed the county’s financial statements, reports generated by the independent auditor, and met with Mike Ulrich, who represents the accounting firm that completed the independent audit, according to Edwin Van Stam, a member of the volunteer audit committee.
The volunteer audit committee recommended that monetary and human resources need to be allocated to the county’s tax collection software system, and to ensure that all funds and accounts are reconciled monthly so that the county commission has accurate financial information.
The volunteer audit committee also recommended that the county adopt a whistleblower policy that includes the protection of county employees from reprisal for reporting in good faith. They recommended that the whistleblower system be overseen by the county commission and the clerk/auditor.
The committee also reported that the county needs to allocate monetary resources to ensure that the county has a competent financial manager to ensure reconciliations are completed and that day-to-day accounting is accurate.
The budget advisory board weighed in with a list of recommendations regarding internal audits.
Among the budget committee’s recommendations were: Define an internal audit process in county code; conduct internal audits of all departments on a two-year cycle; include a review of adherence to applicable county codes and state statutes in the internal audit process; review the effectiveness of departmental policies and procedures; and review employee training in financial policies during internal audits.
The budget advisory board also called for “adequate resources to be appropriated by the county commission to facilitate the completion of internal audit procedures.”
The budget committee members include: Tooele County Recorder Jerry Houghton; Wayne Anderton, the Utah Public Employees Association chairman for the Tooele County employees chapter; Rod Thompson, Tooele County Roads department director; and Dean Johnson, area president and branch manager for Zions Bank.
Other members of the budget advisory board include; Larry Shumway, former Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction and former Superintendent of Tooele County School District; Jake Jacobson, a certified public manager and a former small business owner and contractor; Cody Deeter, vice-president of Lewis Young Robertson, and Burningham, a Salt Lake City-based municipal financial advisory and consulting firm; David Gibby, environmental manager for U.S. Magnesium; and Toby Lee, a senior financial specialist for Fidelity Investments and a former accounting manager for Anderson Lumber Company.
The budget advisory board’s duties include reviewing fiscal policies and procedures, reviewing proposed departmental budgets, and acting as a point of contact for citizen budget and financial concerns.
The audit committee members include: Brent Ray, who works as an audit senior for Deloitte & Touche; Ryan Liddell, a certified public accountant with eight years of accounting experience including five years in preparing, reviewing and auditing financial statements with Ernst & Young; and Edwin van Stam, a CPA with five years of public accounting experience and three years of controller and CFO consulting experience in private industry.
Also appointed to the audit committee are Greg Bleazard, a CPA with nearly a decade of experience in public accounting and three years of experience working for a city government; and John Adams, a shareholder in the Logan-based accounting firm of Cook Martin Poulson, P.C.
The audit committee’s job is to help the commissioners review and interpret financial statements and audit reports.