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Monday, October 20, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Report: Jeff Davis in good financial standing despite shortcomings

Last Modified: Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:02 AM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — An annual audit of the Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury shows the parish is in good financial standing, despite shortcomings with the way some transactions are being handled.

In presenting the 78-page report to the Police Jury on Wednesday, auditor J. Aaron Cooper said the parish received an “unqualified opinion” with a good financial statement.

The audit found that the Police Jury had a total net equity of $36 million and an overall fund balance of nearly $22 million as of Dec. 31.

“It is a good audit if you look at the numbers,” Police Jury President Donald Woods said, noting he was pleased with the audit. Problems found in the audit are being addressed, he said.

Among the findings, a review of cash disbursements found a lack of internal controls on purchases. Several purchases made by fire districts and Special Ward Road and Bridge Division I contained purchase orders dated after the purchase, meaning staff failed to obtain purchase orders beforehand, Cooper said.

Audits for 2012 and 2011 noted similar findings. The panel should implement policies to remedy the problem, Cooper said.

In a second repeat finding from 2012, a review of personnel files found that Police Jury staff failed to obtain all pertinent information on employees and payroll transactions and ensure agreement with the payroll software.

Personnel files should be kept up to date, Cooper said. The panel has implemented a checklist to ensure new employee files contain all pertinent  information.

A review of cash disbursements and receipts found that Police Jury staff failed to list several receivables and payables for accrual — deficiencies that could result in misstated financial statements, Cooper said.

The audit also found the Police Jury had unsecured deposits of $65,921 in one bank that were misclassified as non-public funds. Without adequate collateral, the deposits are subject to custodial credit risk, Cooper said.

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