County council receives consolidated financial statement

 

essex_county_seal copyBy Ron Giofu

 

Essex County council has received its consolidated financial report for 2013 and it indicates things are running above board with the county.

County director of corporate services/treasurer Rob Maisonville said the audit was conducted by KMPG, who “expressed a clean audit opinion following its examination of the accounts of the corporation.”

Maisonville reported to county council that KPMG’s findings found no significant unusual transactions, no change in the application of accounting policies identified, no exceptions in testing on significant estimates, no illegal acts or possibly illegal acts identified, no fraud or suspected fraud involving administration or employees having significant roles in internal control and no audit differences identified.

The accumulated surplus was $196.6 million at the end of 2013, up from $182.4 million at the end of 2012 but Maisonville cautioned there is a difference between this figure and actual surplus dollars.

“Let’s not confuse this with surplus dollars,” he told county council. “The term ‘accumulated surplus’ has a much different meaning then the term ‘surplus’ or ‘deficit’ used in describing the county’s current year performance against budget.”

Maisonville noted that included within the annual surplus is the county’s overall 2013 budget surplus of $1.9 million, which is exclusive of Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority operations ($950,000 for 2012). Much of that surplus was placed into the county’s rate stabilization reserve in accordance with the county’s reserve strategy, though Maisonville noted some of that went to winter control costs that were higher than expected.

“The 2013 operating surplus was approximately $1.6 million greater than the projected surplus of approximately $250,000, as estimated during the development of the 2014 budget. The significant factor, unknown at the time of the 2014 Budget process, contributing to this favourable variance, was lower than budgeted demand for social assistance ($915,000), savings in social housing costs ($381,000), greater than projected net supplementary taxes ($363,000), and investment income ($229,000),” Maisonville added in his report.

County council formally received the report during last Wednesday night’s meeting.

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