Audit says short staff affects segregation of duties in sheriff’s office; Read the complete report here

Published 4:07 pm Monday, February 28, 2022

Many businesses are operating with a short staff these days, and the Lincoln County Sheriff Curt Folger’s office is no different.

According to an audit released by Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon’s office Monday, the sheriff’s office does not have adequate segregation of duties among the staff.

The audit indicates that this year’s report is a repeat of findings from the previous year’s audit, reported as Finding 2019-001. The report states that the sheriff’s bookkeeper opens mail, collects payments from customers, prepares deposits, writes and signs checks, posts transactions to the receipts and disbursements ledgers, prepares monthly and quarterly reports, and prepares account reconciliations.

Read the complete Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Audit Report

The report states that the sheriff’s office has implemented some compensating controls, but adds that they are not sufficient to offset the lack of segregation of duties.

The audit includes a statement from the sheriff’s office indicating that the lack of segregation of duties is a matter of not having enough people to perform the different duties, including most accounting functions of the office.

Harmon’s audit indicates that this increases the risk of undetected errors, and adds that a lack of oversight could result in undetected misappropriation of assets and inaccurate financial reporting to external agencies such as the Department for Local Government.

A statement from the auditor’s office within the report offered recommendations which read, “We recommend the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office separate the duties involved in receiving cash, preparing deposits, writing checks, posting to ledgers, preparing monthly bank reconciliations, and comparing financial reports to ledgers. If this is not feasible due to a limited budget, additional cross-checking procedures should be implemented and documented by the individual performing the review procedure.”

The sheriff did not respond to that statement according to the audit. When called by The Interior Journal, Folger had no additional comment.

According to the audit, the sheriff’s responsibilities include collecting property taxes, providing law enforcement, and performing services for the county fiscal court and courts of justice. The sheriff’s office is funded through statutory commissions and fees collected in conjunction with these duties.