This op-ed by State Auditor Pat McCarthy first appeared in the July 30, 2023 edition of the Spokesman Review.
Local governments are fast becoming attractive targets for cyber criminals because of the vast amounts of sensitive data they maintain about their employees, infrastructure and residents. To keep pace with the constantly evolving threats and tactics, it's essential that you understand how to minimize your government's risk of attack.
We at the State Auditor's Office extend our thanks to every local government that filed its fiscal year 2022 annual report on time! This year, about 87 percent of local governments met the annual filing deadline, proving once again that compliance, accountability and transparency matter in Washington state.
We've updated the infographic below to show which governments filed on time, which filed late, and which haven't filed yet. How does your county compare to the rest? The graphic still updates daily, so check back as often as you'd like.
This article was originally published in the special issue of the Digital Audit Connection for the 2023 Washington Association of School Business Officials conference. Read the full issue here.
Meter reading is the critical first step in a utility's revenue collection process. Gathering accurate, complete meter data is essential not only for collecting the appropriate amount of revenue to operate the utility, but also for ensuring a positive customer experience and public image.
From accurate and prompt billing to well-designed collection procedures, accounts receivable requires a robust set of internal controls to ensure your government collects the money it is owed. A strong accounts receivable process can result in higher revenue for your government, while a weak process can lead to wasted staff time, accounting errors and lost revenue. When was the last time you took a close look at your accounts receivable?
In 2022, just one new local government fell into unauditable status and three others were removed from the category, continuing progress toward accounting for the public finances of all of Washington's 2,300 local governments.
A new year-end report by the Office of the Washington State Auditor identified six local governments that failed to provide basic financial records and cooperate with an audit—meeting the definition of an unauditable government. Five of those governments were also deemed unauditable the previous year.
As the year comes to an end, we invite you to explore the interactive annual report for fiscal year 2022 below to learn more about our work with local governments and state agencies to ensure accountability and transparency for public resources.