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Auditor: Woodstock's Finances "On The Right Track"

The Woodstock City Council heard an overview of its fiscal year 2013 financial audit.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo
The city of Woodstock's financial position seems to be turning around for the positive.

That's according to auditor Jim Whitaker, managing owner of Snellville-based James L. Whitaker PC. Whitaker presented the city's fiscal year 2013 audit to the Woodstock City Council on Monday.

The audit can be viewed on the city's website

Woodstock received an "unqualified" opinion, meaning its books and accounts are in compliance with governmental standards, the auditor notes. 

Some of the highlights (as of June 30, 2013) include:
  • the city's combined net assets increased to $29.8 million. 
  • combined revenue increased by $1.8 million to $28.1 million;
  • governmental activities (general fund) totaled $19.2 million while business-type activity (water/sewer and stormwater) totaled $9 million.
  • overall expenses totaled $25.3 million, which included $15.6 in the general fund and $9.6 million in water/sewer and storm water.
  • governmental funds reported an ending fund balance of $4.35 million. 
  • unassigned portion for the general fund – available to be carried over for future operating budgets — was $601,000, which represents 4.26 percent of general fund expenditures.
  • The city's long-term debt increased from about $42 million to $45 million. The $45 million includes $20.5 million in the general fund and $25.2 related to water and sewer and stormwater activities. 
Recommended reserve amounts — between 20 and 25 percent of the city's general fund — would mean the city needs to have $3.2 million in cash on hand. 

While Whitaker pointed out the city is in a low position, "it is a lot better than it was last year." Last year, the city had a negative fund balance of $602,000. 

The city turning the negative into a positive was "great," he added.

"You are on the right track," he said. 

He also praised the city for "making great strides" in implementing and strengthening internal controls over its accounts. He noted the city has improved its process of reconciling accounts and implementing a budgetary process that would decrease the need for budget amendments and overspending. 

He also said the city has made great strides when it comes to training and cross-training employees in the financial department. Whitaker also said he can see an "overall change" in the attitude towards "financial controls" in the mayor and council, city leadership and department staff. 

"I think it’s a great way to start off the new year," he added. 

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