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Los Alamos County Garners Another Clean Audit

on January 11, 2018 - 7:48am

Los Alamos County Chief Financial Officer Helen Perraglio, left, and independent auditor Janet Pacheco Morton discuss County's financial operation at Tuesday’s Council meeting. Photo by Carol A. Clark/




Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos County Council voted 6-0 Tuesday evening to accept the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017. Councilor Susan O’Leary was absent.

During the meeting in Council Chambers, Los Alamos County Chief Financial Officer Helen Perraglio briefed Council on the report and thanked all those involved at the County for contributing to the success of the clean audit opinion.

Independent auditor Janet Pacheco Morton of Morton Accounting Services, LLC, commended Los Alamos County during her presentation for the professionalism of its staff and the excellence in which the County conducts its financial operations.

“There were no audit adjustments found and this is fairly rare especially in municipalities of this size,” Pacheco Morton said. “Los Alamos County is one of the few government entities that prepares its financial statement and that is a significant achievement. This is the best audit you can obtain for an audit – period – so congratulations.”

County Manager Harry Burgess also mentioned that Los Alamos County also has been selected for the FY2016 Audit Accountability Award for a mid-sized county. New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) and the State Auditor select counties that prove their dedication to ethical financial practices that safeguard their public assets. The criteria include outstanding work on audits, submitting audits in a timely manner, and having sustained excellence with the highest audit opinions for the past three years. This prestigious award will be presented to the County at an upcoming event.

The CAFR documents the County’s financial position at the end of the fiscal year, and the results of its operations for that full 12-month period.

Throughout the fiscal year, many departments and employees help the County record the County’s financial activity through the decentralized financial system. Ultimately, the CAFR results from this County-wide team effort. The CAFR document is produced by the Finance Division of the Administrative Services Department.

The County’s CAFR for fiscal year 2017 was submitted to the Office of the State Auditor by the deadline, which was Dec. 1, 2017.  The CAFR was then reviewed and approved by the Office of the State Auditor. Notice of final approval was received Dec. 19, 2017.

Morton Accounting Services, LLC, an independent accounting firm, performed the audit for the fiscal year. The exit conference with the Audit Committee was held Nov. 28, 2017. The Auditor's Opinion and the schedule of findings and questioned costs were discussed at that exit conference. The audit opinion is an unmodified “clean” opinion. There were no current year audit findings, and no prior year audit findings.

The State Audit Rule J. (3) (d) requires that the audit report be presented by the auditor to a quorum of the governing body at a meeting held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, which was completed at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

The cost of the audit work performed by Morton Accounting Services, LLC, which include special procedures to be performed on the electric resource pool, cost allocation plan, and lodger's tax is $82,840. Staff time is budgeted annually to accomplish this task.

Copies of the CAFR are available for public viewing on the County website, at the 311 Customer Care Center, Finance Division, and both the White Rock and Los Alamos branches of the Mesa Public Library.