Dare Audit Committee receives quarterly report from internal auditor

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, November 5, 2022

Dare County’s Audit Committee received a quarterly report from the county’s internal auditor on October 27, 2022.

The committee will recommend retaining Potter & Company, of Mooresville, as auditor.

Ernie Dabiero is the county’s budget analyst and internal auditor. He presented highlights of his activities from April through September 2022.

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During that time, Dabiero completed 80 audits of p-cards, also known as purchasing or procurement cards. Some 47 of the audits were of randomly selected employees with a credit limit of $10,000. The 33 remaining audits were for employees whose p-cards have a credit limit above $10,000.

Dabiero reported, “There were no major findings in the audits.”

Dare County also has a set of purchasing cards for use during storms, so that all storm-related expenses can be easily identified. Those cards are passed out before a storm hits.

Seventeen on-site internal cash audits were conducted. The sites ranged from the Kill Devil Hills Library to the Manteo Recreation Office to the Sheriff’s Office to the Detention Center and the Buxton C&D Office.

“Each of these locations is in compliance with the County’s internal cash handling policy. Cash Change Funds and Petty Cash funds were counted and each balanced,” reported Dabiero.

The auditor completed on-site inventories at the Colington Water Department warehouse, the Fleet Maintenance warehouse and the Facilities Maintenance warehouse.

At the Colington Water warehouse, inventory items with a total value of $1,000 or more totaled 94. “The physical count completed with the Water staff matched the inventory records on all 94 items.”

The Fleet Maintenance warehouse had 182 items valued at $500 or more. Dabiero physically counted 94 items and found discrepancy on five items. Four items were miscounted and the items were cleared. For the fifth item, staff discovered that the stock was taken out of inventory between the time when the inventory count worksheet was printed and the physical count was completed. The discovery resulted in the item matching the inventory record.

At the Facilities Maintenance warehouse, Dabiero focused on 45 items with total value of $100 or more. On 22 items, the physical count matched the inventory records. Discrepancy was discovered with 23 items with 19 less on hand and four showing more. The value of the missing inventory is $2,791.28, with the value of the entire warehouse inventory at $22,328.13.

During fiscal year 2022, the former warehouse manager left Dare County employment. “The new manager is still learning the inventory and the warehouse,” said Dabiero who reported he was still unable to find nine items he was looking for.

Dabiero, the warehouse manager and the supervisor of Facilities Maintenance will work on improving inventory management procedures.

On the budget side of the job, Dabiero entered 88 budget transfers and 53 budget amendments.

He filed a FEMA reimbursement request for management costs associated with the county’s COVID response. The request totals slightly more than $15,000.

He worked with finance director David Clawson and Bill Coleman from Outer Banks SPCA to set up procedures for paying for spaying and neutering services.

Dabiero checked with several Dare County fire departments about annual audits and tax forms required for the budget request process. Local auditing firms are backlogged, reported Dabiero. Those firms are asked for letters of engagement and the work schedule.

The audit committee discussed asking the fire departments to provide a compilation or review from accountants rather than a full audit. This will be considered at the committee’s next meeting.

The audit committee will recommend the county’s Board of Commissioners enter a four-year contract with Potter & Company. The fee for fiscal year 2023 is $72,100. The fee will increase at 3% each year.

Committee member Teresa Osborne commented “we’ve got the best auditor in the state.” She recommended that the county “stay where we are” which the committee unanimously approved.