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Lewis County audit leads to 16 findings for financial issues

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(The Center Square) – An audit of Lewis County, Tennessee, led to 16 findings and recommendations on how the county should change its financial reporting, the highest number of findings in the state for the 2023 fiscal year.

The findings included material weaknesses, deficiencies and noncompliance from the mayor’s office, road superintendent, trustee and director of schools.

“Lewis County has the unenviable distinction of having received the most findings of any county in our fiscal year 2023 audit cycle,” Tennessee Comptroller Jason Mumpower said. “I am pleased to note the county is considering Certified County Finance Officer training as it works with its audit committee to correct these significant issues in the county government.”

The trustee was found to have written checks for more than the amount of available funds and not reviewing software audit logs for inappropriate activity.

Issues for the director of schools included purchase orders that were not properly issued and reconciling the general ledger cash accounts with the county trustee’s reports.

The mayor’s office did not have accurate capital asset records, had expenditures exceeding budgeted appropriations, purchasing deficiencies, reconciliation issues and had to pay $1,630 in interest and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service.

“While conducting their work, auditors had to make material audit adjustments to the financial statements in the offices of county mayor, road superintendent and director of schools,” the report said. “These actions are a strong indicator that the county has ineffective controls over the maintenance of its accounting records.”

The road superintendent did not comply with state law on issuing a capital outlay not to purchase an excavator.