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County hires audit firm
Company will examine expenditures
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Forsyth County News
County Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomas admits it takes a lot to rouse "accounting types."
"We don't get excited too often," Thomas said.
But the CFO said he's chomping at the bit about an internal controls study the commission approved at Tuesday's work session.
"We're going to look at ways to make sure taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck," he said. "To me, this is real good stuff for the county."
The commission voted 4-0, with Chairman Laughinghouse absent, to pay $67,500 for the services of Sawyer and Co., a risk management group in Dawsonville.
Thomas said Sawyer and Co. will take a look at pretty much everything spent in every county department.
"It covers everything," Thomas said. "How we account for a traffic ticket being it goes from the time the clerk collects it to the time it actually gets recorded into our system and put into the bank."
"Anyplace where a dollar comes into this county," Thomas added.
"The real stuff is seeing how it all ties in to make up the big picture. We have processes that work ... it doesn't mean they're the most efficient or effective."
Thomas said one of the great perks to having an internal controls assessment is the information he can use.
"It will help get the bond rating up," he said. "If we have all the information documented and we can make our processes as efficient as possible, when we go to get our bond rating, this is very strong for the county. It shows this county's being run well."
Thomas said when he was hired in October, one of his chief objectives was to review the county's internal controls and make adjustments as needed.
The CFO's objective to review internal controls was one of his selling points according to one commissioner.
Commissioner Jim Harrell said he's been in favor of such a process for quite a while, and when Thomas was interviewing for the job more than a year ago, Harrell was glad to hear Thomas broach the subject.
"I'm a fiscal conservative," Harrell said. "When I ran for commissioner, I ran on open and honest government. To me, this is a great way to strengthen our business practices."
Thomas said Sawyer and Co. representatives will review even the most mundane details.
"It's an extremely proactive program," Thomas said. "The main thing about this, we can ensure we are protecting the assets of this county."
Thomas said the company has begun preliminary studies for the assessment and start work in the coming weeks.