The audit of Carrabelle’s finances for the 2014-15 fiscal year showed little change from the previous year.
At the Aug. 4 Carrabelle city meeting, Mark Payne of James Moore and Company, an accounting firm with offices in Daytona, Gainesville and Tallahassee, summarized his company’s annual audit of Carrabelle’s finances.
The 63-page document provides a snapshot of the city’s finances as of Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of the 2014-15 fiscal year.
At that time, Carrabelle had roughly $62 million in assets, with $50 million in equity, an increase of $16 million over last year and $56 million tied up in capital assets like property and buildings. This is a reduction of about $2 million in assets from the audit done in 2014, due largely to depreciation of assets.
Payne’s report was largely positive. “Your debt continues to fall,” he said.
As of the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, Carrabelle’s combined ending fund balances totaled $3.49 million, an increase of $27,537 in comparison with the prior year.
Approximately 44 percent of this amount, $1.55 million is available for spending at the government's discretion. The remainder is assigned, and not available for new spending because it has been committed to generate income to pay for other restricted purposes.
The city’s unrestricted net assets, funds that can be freely spent to provide government services and pay debts, totaled roughly $1.03 million at the time of the 2015 audit. While this represented an increase of about $36,000 from the previous year, this was a decrease from the 2011-12 fiscal year when the city had $2.3 million in unrestricted assets.
The fund balance of Carrabelle’s general fund increased by $237,545 during the last fiscal year. The key factor in this increase was grant revenues, according to Payne.
Last year, Payne recommended city staff perform a complete physical inventory of capital assets and tag all equipment. City Clerk Keisha Messer said the inventory was successfully completed.
“It will be much easier from now on,” she said. “We’ll just have to add and remove things each year.”
Last year, Payne also recommended the city implement a system where credit card purchases must be preapproved, and receipts be retained for items purchased. He also recommended an employee be designated to review and approve employee leave accruals.
Mayor Brenda La Paz said individual employees have now been issued credit cards to simplify tracking of their use. Employees must now obtain verbal permission for small expenditures and the city now uses purchase orders for larger purchases.
The auditor said overlapping duties of employees on the small city staff remains a challenge.
“You don’t have enough people to do everything with regards to checks and balances,” he said, noting that, given the small number of city employees, a perfect separation of duties will remain impossible.
“Nothing you do will be any different,” said Payne.