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Auditor: Sheriff’s finances accurate, better accounting controls requested

STANFORD – There were no instances of non-compliance found in audits of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office 2016 financial statements, according to reports released by State Auditor Mike Harmon.

Audits of the sheriff’s office and the sheriff’s tax settlement were released by Harmon’s office earlier this month.

According to the report, the sheriff’s office brought in $793,517 in 2016 – $137,156 more than the $656,361 that was spent.

While no issues were found in the financial statements, auditors noted “a lack of adequate segregation of duties exists over all accounting functions.”

“This is a repeat finding that was included in the prior year audit report,” the report states.

The report noted that the sheriff’s bookkeeper opens mail, collects payments, prepares deposits, writes and signs checks and posts transactions, among other duties.

“The sheriff’s review of these activities is not adequately documented,” the report states.

Lincoln County Sheriff Curt Folger said Wednesday that a “lack of adequate segregation of duties related to record-keeping” is something that many smaller departments across the state face because they don’t have the number of employees necessary to spread out the duties.

“They (the state) think these offices should be run like your Louisville Metro or Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, where they have 10 or 12 people designated for each little item,” Folger said. “With a small department, you just don’t get that because you don’t have the personnel to do it.”

Auditors recommended the sheriff’s office implement “compensating controls” and that those be documented by the individual performing the procedure.

“We recommend the sheriff document strong oversight over all aspects on internal control procedures by reviewing and initialing daily deposit records, reviewing and initialing monthly reports and reconciliations, requiring dual signatures on checks (with one being the sheriff’s), and reviewing and initialing all invoices upon payment,” the report states.

“The bottom line is, everything lines up and everything checks out perfect through the state’s auditor. What more can you ask?” Folger said.

The audit report can be found on the auditor’s website: https://auditor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx