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Sheriff’s office gets clean tax audit

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Review of 2012-13 processes shows $34,743,873 handled

By Lisa King

State Auditor Adam Edelen’s office recently released a clean review of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the county’s 2012-13 tax receipts.
The audit found there were “no instances of noncompliance” and “no matters involving internal control or its operation that were considered to be material weaknesses.”

Auditors conduct two audits annually on the sheriff’s office, one on the tax account and the other on the fee account used to operate the office.

Edelen said in his report, “During our audit, we did not identify any deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that we consider to be material weaknesses.”

His report also stated that auditors found no instances of noncompliance with accounting standards.

The sheriff’s office is among three county offices that under state law dating back to 1936 requires annual audits. The others are the county clerk and fiscal court. 

Sheriff Mike Armstrong expressed satisfaction with the results, which were only what he expected, he said.

“We abide by the rules that the auditors have,” he said. “Through the year, even if we have a question on something, we’ll contact them to try to get an opinion on what we should do.”

Armstrong said he is proud that his book balance so precisely.

“All the money’s there; every penny’s been accounted for,” he said.

The audit shows that Armstrong’s office in 2012 collected taxes of $34,743,873, retaining $819,706 to operate the sheriff’s office.                   

Armstrong said those figures are “up just a shade” from last year.

“We probably collected just a shade more, but it probably runs about the same percentage wise,” he said.

He added that most of the credit goes to his employees.

“I’ve got good employees,” he said. “They do their job, and they’re loyal and honest, and they take care of business.”

Said staff member Karen Jefferies: “I’ve been bookkeeper here for several years, and we have a system in place that works very well.”

Armstrong agreed.

“We monitor our system, our bank accounts, we try to stay up on everything,” he said. “Also, I personally check different things to make sure everything is how it should be.”