State auditor gives Algona a clean bill of health

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelly last week released the findings of audits performed on the City of Algona's government.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelly last week released the findings of audits performed on the City of Algona’s government.

In two audits – the first of the City’s financial statements from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2013, the second of its accountability practices over the same time period – Kelly lauded Algona’s compliance.

“In the areas we examined, the City complied with applicable requirements and provided adequate safeguarding of public resources,” the report stated. “The City also complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures in the areas we examined.”

In the accountability audit, the state examined the City’s handling of: billing and receivables; payments and expenditures; cash receipting; open public meeting minute taking; police property room procedures; payroll and personnel; and citizen hotline referral.

According to Algona Mayor Dave Hill, the auditor’s office took about a month to examine the last three years of the City’s books.

“They were there three or four days every week and then doing stuff behind the scenes at their offices the other days,” Hill said.

In addition to the City’s general accountability, the auditor’s office examined its financial statements, including its compliance with “laws, regulations, contracts and grant agreements which could have direct and material effect on the determination of financial statement amounts.”

The audit found that Algona’s compliance is “fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the financial statements taken as a whole.”

The auditor’s office, however, issued an adverse opinion regarding the method of accounting the City uses.

According to the audit, Algona uses, “single-entry, cash-basis accounting” instead of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, a more complicated system used by larger municipalities.

Because Algona’s population is under 5,000, and the budget is small compared to other municipalities – just $10.5 million, $11 million and $9 million for 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively – the City’s simplified system is legal.

“It’s less than a technicality. Under state law they are allowed to do it this way,” said Washington State Auditor’s Office spokesperson Thomas Shapley.

“I’m really proud of the professionalism and dedication and of our whole staff, especially Diana Quinn, who oversees all of that,” Hill said. “I think it’s a shining example of what you can do in a small city. A lot of small cities use the excuse that they are small not to do things, where we do it. We make sure everything is accountable.”

To view the audit reports, visit and search reports for the City of Algona.