St. Louis County has new accountants auditing its financial records and they want changes to how officials track extra cash left in bank accounts at the end of the fiscal year.
The county’s Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls says in the past they would consider the leftover money as revenue, but the audit recommends it now be accounted for as an asset.
“There’s a reason accountants have the reputation that they do,” Earls says. “This is a perfectionism of the system, and I’d tell you outright that it is an asset of the county so we might as well count it as an asset.”
Earls says they’ll also tighten access to payroll records, which is called for in the audit.
The audit also wants the county to track down checks that haven’t been cashed by people who have won their cases before the state tax commission, and Earls says they plan to do that, too.
Earl's says it's likely that some of the checks haven't been cashed because they were made to businesses that are no longer operating. Or, it could be that lawyers for the companies or people awarded the checks are still determining how to distribute the money between multiple parties. Money from checks that remain uncashed would ultimately go back to the state, not the county.