Local governments

Pierce County Superior Court Clerk’s Office lacked financial controls, safeguards for trust accounts, audit finds

An audit released today by the Office of the Washington State Auditor revealed a significant lack of controls over financial operations in the Pierce County Superior Court Clerk’s Office, including taking no action to pay out several large accounts held in trust.

“Simply put, the results of this audit are a cause for serious concern. The financial operations of the clerk’s office have a direct impact on those who trust in our court system to resolve their legal issues and handle funds attentively,” said State Auditor Pat McCarthy.

Read our updated best practices for tracking capital assets – it’ll help you for years to come

Imagine you just bought a home, but you don’t like the kitchen because it’s outdated. Since this is potentially your “forever home,” it makes sense to update the kitchen so you can enjoy it for years to come. In a similar situation, a local government keeps its capital asset records for years – sometimes decades – so why not take the time to improve them? Like the kitchen, the investment in improving your capital asset management system is worth it because you can reap the long-term benefits.

Housing authority still without adequate financial controls, audit finds

The Pierce County Housing Authority needs to prioritize better financial controls to reduce the risk of another loss of public funds, the Office of the Washington State Auditor concluded in a report published Thursday.

“It’s time to make strong financial controls the Pierce County Housing Authority’s highest priority. Without them, the risk of a loss of public funds is too high,” said State Auditor Pat McCarthy.

Are you applying for new federal awards? Know the strings attached

It is important to think about all that comes with managing a new federal program for your government, ideally before you apply for it – and especially before you accept it. New federal awards are like getting a new puppy; they come with ramifications, implications and potential future costs for your government. If you think those things through, and understand what you are taking on, then you will be in a better position to manage the new award. 

Planes, trains and travel expenses: Upgrade your government’s internal controls with our updated resource

Employees are on the road again, traveling to various in-person trainings and conferences. Given this, one cannot help but wonder about the internal control systems for processing employee reimbursements and travel claims. Are they ready to handle this activity and prevent waste, loss or abuse?

Audit timeliness is a team effort post-pandemic

Government offices at all levels experienced upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic, with added complexity and disrupted timelines for all kinds of work. The scale of federal grant money to be managed – and then audited – was unprecedented. In this blog post, the Office of the Washington State Auditor explains how the increased number and size of federal grants to be audited has affected local governments’ federal single audits.