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County will miss audit deadline, request extension
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Difficulties with account reconciliations in the county’s Department of Human Services mean the county will again miss the state-mandated deadline for submittal of its annual audit.

The good news is, although late, the county should receive a clean 2008 audit report and will not suffer another property tax freeze as has occurred in years past.

According to Archuleta County Finance Director Don Warn, the audit is about 90 percent complete and auditors have reviewed a first draft of county financial statements.

The trouble Warn said came when staff discovered that reconciliations between the Colorado Department of Human Services system and the county ledger for its Department of Human Services (DHS) had not been done correctly, or in a timely manner.

Warn said the difficulties came as a result of staff turnover and inadequate training of county DHS accounting staff.

Archuleta County Commissioner John Ranson said, “Our choice was to delay the audit to September and hopefully have a clean audit, or put it in on time and not have a clean audit once again for 2008. Since we are on ‘probation’ with DOLA, CDOT and others who provide grants, we felt that the best alternative was to do our best to get the clean audit. Everything else in the audit process looks clean according to our outside auditor. This is truly a decision that had to be made for what is best for the longer-term success of the county, and was not an easy one. Unlike previous years, we will have this done in time so that funds are not frozen.”

Warn said he will apply for an extension with the state, putting the new deadline at Sept. 30, 2009.

james@pagosasun.com