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State Auditor Adam Edelen recently released an annual audit of the settlement of 2011 taxes for Taylor County Sheriff Allen Newton.
The audit found that Newton's financial statement fairly represents the taxes charged, credited and paid for the period of April 16, 2011, to April 16, 2012.
Edelen stated that the sheriff's office lacks adequate segregation of duties. Segregation of duties over receipts and disbursements, or the implementation of compensating controls, is needed because the staff size is small at the office. He stated that this is essential for providing protection to employees in their normal course of performing their duties.
The audit states that the office's bookkeeper collects payments, prepares monthly tax reports, posts to the ledgers and prepares daily deposits.
A few compensating controls are in place at the office, Edelen stated, including dual signatures on all disbursements and Newton personally delivering all tax distribution checks. Edelen wrote that these actions are acceptable, but don't offset the lack of proper segregation of duties.
Edelen recommends that the office separate the duties involving the collection, depositing and disbursement of cash, preparation of monthly reports and journals and reconciliation of the bank statement of the ledgers.
If these duties aren't being performed because of a small staff, Edelen suggested strong oversight in these areas involving an employee who doesn't currently perform the duties. Newton didn't respond to the report.
In the audit, Edelen stated that Newton's duties include collecting property taxes, providing law enforcement and performing services for Taylor Fiscal Court and Courts of Justice.
Financial figures weren't included in the audit. The audit report can be read at www.auditor.ky.gov.