Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Salt Lake County’s books in tip-top shape in 2011
Finance » Outside auditor finds no major deficiencies in the $600 million-plus budget.
First Published Oct 02 2012 06:20 pm • Last Updated Jan 14 2013 11:31 pm

Salt Lake County’s financial records were in good order in 2011, outside auditors told the County Council on Tuesday.

Orem-based Squire & Co.’s audit of the county’s numerous financial statements and its compliance with rules managing the use of federal and state funds in county-operated programs endorsed the government’s practices "without qualification" and found no major deficiencies, said CPA Ray Bartholomew.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The worst the audit could find: Expenditures in the Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) program exceeded the yearly budget by $225,000, or 1.6 percent.

"That was a quite pleasant problem to have," responded county financial officer Lance Brown, explaining the county entered a "Catch-22" situation of having to comply with diametrically opposed laws when last year’s sales tax receipts exceeded projections.

To avoid running afoul of the auditors’ need for balanced budgets, Brown said the county would have to violate another law that requires additional sales tax to be distributed among the arts organizations, parks and zoological groups that receive those tax funds. The choice was an easy one, he suggested — get the extra money out to groups that could put it to good use.

The auditors came up with a few little things as they parsed through line items of the $600 million-plus budget.

Most were timing issues. Recognize business licenses as revenue sources in the year the license goes into effect. Record a capital lease in the period when equipment was received. Be clearer on accounting in the fund that includes county contributions to employee benefits.

With all of its belt-tightening since the recession began four years, the county would be well advised to invest at least $2 million into that account to keep it whole, said county Chief Financial Officer Darrin Casper.

That concerned Councilman Richard Snelgrove, who wondered whether the county was on the same path toward financial troubles as Stockton, Calif., which declared bankruptcy in June. "So we’re going down the same road as cities that got into trouble?" he said.

Not at all, said Casper. "We have a very small liability compared to other counties."

story continues below
story continues below


Twitter: @sltribmikeg

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.