CITY AUDIT

Members of the Houston City Council received results of an annual audit last week from a Springfield accounting firm.

The 60-page report was outlined  by Ross Wiseman, CPA, of the Springfield firm of KPM CPAs and Advisors following a detailed review of the city’s finances for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019.

The review resulted in a clean opinion of the city’s operations and highlighted some areas for the city to review.

HIGHLIGHTS OF AUDIT

•The net position of the city’s governmental activities — which consists of the general fund, cemetery fund, sales tax revenue — increased about $77,823. Revenue from the city’s business-type funds — fees for water, sewer and electrical revenue — jumped about $575,524 for the year. The total between the two is $653,347, down from about $1.46 million in the same period in the prior year due primarily to fewer grants booked. Several grants will go on the books for 2020.

•Assets exceeded liabilities at the year-end by about $28.8 million. Of that amount, about $7.5 million was unrestricted and can be used for future obligations of the city. Unrestricted cash and cash equivalents from the city’s water and sewer fund and electric fund totaled about $2.6 million, which Wiseman called a “healthy position.”

•Certificates of deposit at financial institutions totaled about $3.3 million at year’s end.

•Long-term liabilities of the city decreased by about $82,590.

•Auditors said the city’s pension obligations are adequately funded.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In its report, auditors:

•Recommended continually evaluating risk and taking steps necessary to ensure the security of information systems, which they are highlighting to all municipalities.

•Called on the city to periodically review its internal controls to determine if any changes are required. It said the city might want to review procedures for cash management, computer information systems, mail distribution, purchasing, new vendors and others.

•Said it noted that city’s water loss percentage was 60 percent for the year. Normal loss percentages for cities range from 15 to 20 percent. The firm noted that indicates leaks, old unreliable meters and undocumented usage is occurring.

A copy of the complete audit is available at Houston City Hall.

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