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Kitsap County Auditor * 619 Division St
Port Orchard WA 98366-4687
360-337-7129 * Fax: 360-337-4645
 

For questions or concerns, please contact:
Kitsap County Auditor - Elections/Voter Registration
(360)337-7128
FAX (360)337-5769

Last year in this newsletter our goal was to take you Beyond the Books and inform you of the essential services we provide, discuss our performance, and look ahead to milestones on the horizon. This year our goal is take you “Inside the Books” to give you a comprehensive overview of each department in our office. All of the stories will be supplemented by photos, videos and updates that are available on our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/KitsapCountyAuditor.

In this issue, we take a closer look at our Financial Services Division, the work they do on a daily basis and an exciting new project in the works.

Financial Services
While most of the world was celebrating the start of a New Year on January 1, Financial Services was beginning its 13th and final month of 2012. Keeping the financial “books” open an additional month is part of our accounting policy used to ensure expenses and revenues are billed to the correct fiscal period and in compliance with national reporting standards.

Financial Services maintains Kitsap’s financial management system, and provides accounting support and other services for the county’s 25 departments and offices. This is no small undertaking for Division Manager David Schureman and his staff given the county’s 25 departments and $264 million in annual expenses.

Financial Services also supervises accounting activities for the Public Works Department. This is made possible by an arrangement between the two offices designed to foster communication and coordination. Public Works Accounting Finance Managers Dean Brown and Mike Edde report to Schureman allowing for direct collaboration between the two departments.  

In addition to accounting support, Financial Services provides payroll, grant reporting, financial analysis, fixed asset reports, expenditure auditing, and financial reporting to county departments, junior taxing districts and the public. But what does all of this mean? Let’s take it point-by-point.

Accounting Support
Accounting is generally considered to be the process of keeping track of a business’ or government agency’s finances by recording its revenue, expenses and other financial transactions.

Payroll
Payroll Services Supervisor Mia Alexander and her staff audit payroll information provided by other department to ensure proper federal payroll taxes are withheld and fair labor standards such as overtime are applied correctly when issuing paychecks to the county’s 1,200 employees. Additionally, Mia’s staff process payroll for 600 employees working at 14 special taxing districts including area Fire and Rescue, Water, Utility, Parks and Recreation, Kitsap Public Health and Kitsap Public Facilities.

Grant Reporting
The county receives approximately $35 million in grant revenue annually. Financial Services Coordinator Susanne Yost works with departments to compile Kitsap’s federal grant expense report. The county is required to prepare this report because it receives more than $500,000 in federal grant assistance each year. 

Financial Analysis
We provide periodic cash-balance projections and revenue analysis for various departments. This analysis helps departments determine if and when they may need to make budget adjustments in order to continue providing services. The county’s $320 million annual budget is spread among approximately 110 “funds,” which are used to pay expenses associated with these services as well as record revenues received. The General Fund accounts for 25 percent of the county budget and is used for expenses needed to provide essential services such as the Sheriff’s Office and Jail, Courts, Parks Department, Coroner’s Office, and Facilities.

Fixed Asset Reports
Fixed assets are capital or “purchased” assets that the county will use for years to come. This includes items such as vehicles, computer systems and buildings. Because the benefit of these assets is realized over time, the expense is spread out and recognized over the life of the asset. Kitsap County has nearly $500 million in assets which Financial Services is responsible for tracking and reporting.   

Expenditure Auditing
Every county department is responsible for submitting their expenditures for payment to our Accounts Payable team. “Accounts Payable” are debts or bills that we are required to pay to vendors or employees who provide us goods and services. Our job is to audit those expenditures to ensure they are allowable. This process includes two very powerful internal controls: the Auditing Officer is required to sign under penalty of perjury that payment disbursement represents materials that have been furnished, services rendered or that labor has been performed as described in contract; department heads attest that expenditures reported to Financial Services are allowable and that services were received.

Financial Reporting
We provide monthly reports on expenditures and revenue to county departments and junior taxing districts such as Fire, Sewer and Ports. We also produce a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that provides a detailed snapshot of the county’s financial status for the previous fiscal year. This report is thoroughly examined by the State Auditor’s Office to ensure it is presented in accordance with national reporting standards. After we pass the state audit, we submit the report to the Government Finance Officers Association to determine if it is worthy of their Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting – which is among the highest forms of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. We have received this award for 14 consecutive years.

In 2013 we will produce our first Popular Annual Financial Report. This report is designed to help citizens better understand the financial reports we produce. We are the first county in the state to provide this report, which will be available by the end of June.

Project
Our efforts to automate Accounts Payable continue. Automating Accounts Payable will allow vendors to submit invoices and bills electronically, provide an electronic approval process as well as eliminate storage of paper records. We are in the first phase of this three phase project which will be completed when we can assure that all document images are being captured and stored properly.     

Meet the Financial Services Division at: www.facebook.com/KitsapCountyAuditor.

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Kitsap County Auditor's Office, 360-337-7128
Email: auditor@co.kitsap.wa.us

Last Updated:  July 16, 2014


DGilmore2016  
Dolores Gilmore
County Auditor (D)

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