Town Gets Clean Audit

Published 4:04 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011

FARMVILLE – The Town of Farmville has received an enthusiastic thumbs-up following the annual audit.

Robin B. Jones, CPA, CFP, with Creedle, Jones & Alga, P.C. Certified Public Accountants, told Town Council members the Town “got a clean opinion, meaning that we found no problems. You were in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards.

“And we found no internal control problems, no compliance problems,” she said during council's March work session.

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“So, you can't do any better than that.”

Delving into the numbers, she noted the Town had liabilities of approximately $25 million, with total net assets of $15 million.

“I guess you could consider that the net worth of the business or the net equity in the business, is the $15 million. That's basically your assets less your liabilities,” Ms. Jones said.

The Town should not be displeased by those net assets according to Ms. Jones.

“That is a pretty strong-$15 million is a good steady number. A solid number,” she told them.

Regarding revenues and expenses, Ms. Jones focused on the change in net assets for the year. “As you can see in both the governmental and business type activities you had a loss, or a change in net assets, of negative $524,000,” she said.

Interpreting the figure, Ms. Jones told Town officials, “that could be positive. It is a negative figure but considering the economy this past year and the loss in your state funding…this is good for last year. Because you've got to take into account you've got depreciation expense on all your fixed assets in this number. This is a full accrual type of accounting so that is basically your income statement.”

Ms. Jones noted that the Town had “two pretty big capital outlay items this year” and those contributed to the “net change in fund balance being negative this year…You bought that Field Of Dreams. That was a pretty big purchase. That was $770,000. You finished the library building. That was $3 million. And the rails-to-trails…was about $500,000. So you had some big capital outlay items this year so, again, taking the state funding into account and these big purchase items, a million dollar change in fund balance is not that bad.”

Town council member-and budget committee member-David E. Whitus asked Ms. Jones what she was seeing among other towns and counties in the state.

“The same type of numbers,” she replied. “Some deficits running. I don't know that you call them losses-spending more than they're getting.”

Council member, and budget committee member, Dr. Edward I. Gordon asked how the Town of Farmville stood in relation to other localities, in terms of financial standing.

“Are you seeing us doing average…better, worse?” he asked.

“No, you're not doing any worse. I don't see you doing any worse,” she answered. “I think everybody's in the same boat.”

Whitus asked if Ms. Jones had any recommendations and she told him, “ya'll know the Town and ya'll are doing a good job managing it.”

Regarding Farmville's ability to purchase the Field Of Dreams, she said, “a lot of towns could not have done that.”