The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

State auditors have recommendations for town


January 31, 2019

The Town of Cathlamet came away with two recommendations after a Washington State Auditor's Office audit in late fall.

Overall, the auditors said they found no problems with the town's numbers.

However, they pointed out that the town clerical staff has only one person who can monitor cash receipting and disbursements.

According to the management letter sent to the town:

"• Funds were transferred between the Deputy Clerk and Clerk/Treasurer without evidence to document the custody transfer.

"• The Mayor’s and Clerk/Treasurer’s signatures are required to issue checks. However, the Clerk/Treasurer was signing both names via a stamp. This negates the purpose of requiring dual signatures.

"• The Clerk/Treasurer had full access to the general ledger and cash receipting functions, performed adjustments, prepared cash deposits, reconciled the deposit to the system and performed the monthly bank reconciliation. The town did not sufficiently monitor these activities for this employee’s conflicting responsibilities.

"While an independent review is performed by a council member, the level of review likely would not detect a loss of cash receipts or unauthorized disbursements. When employees perform incompatible duties without adequate oversight and monitoring, and cash receipts are not properly safeguarded, the town is less able to assign responsibility for a loss should one occur. This also increases the Town’s risk that errors or irregularities could occur and not be detected quickly, if at all.

"We recommend the Town strengthen internal controls over cash receipting and disbursement processes to adequately safeguard public resources."

The auditors also commented that the town isn't actively monitoring outstanding amounts for EMS transport services and sending delinquent accounts to collections.

"As of October 2018, the town had about $137,000 in EMS accounts receivables, of which about $61,000 from 60 accounts should have been sent to outside collections," the letter said. "However, the town has only nine accounts that have been forwarded to its collection agency.

"Without adequate oversight and timely follow-up on outstanding balances, the town cannot ensure it receives all amounts.

"We recommend the town actively monitor EMS billings and follow the established guidelines for collection of past due accounts."


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