Bamberg, South Carolina (April 2021) – At the April 5, 2021 Bamberg County Council meeting, the Accounting Firm of Love, Bailey, and Associates announced that Bamberg County earned an Unmodified Opinion (clean) on the county’s financial audit for the Fiscal Year 2019 - 2020. An unmodified opinion indicates that the independent auditors found the county’s financial statements are appropriately presented and are in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles; it is the best opinion a county government can earn.
The unmodified opinion on the Fiscal Year 2020 Bamberg County audit marks the sixth consecutive year the county has earned an unmodified opinion on its audit; all auditor opinions between 2009 and 2015 were either adverse or qualified. An unmodified audit is important to county finances because it demonstrates good fiscal stewardship, impacts the county’s borrowing ability and interest rates, instills a sense of pride in elected officials, staff, and citizens, is an important measure of financial stability, and confirms confidence in county management.
While the entire audit and a summary can be found on the Bamberg County website, some highlights include zero material weaknesses, indicating strong internal controls on finances. Additionally, there was an increase of the general fund balance by $27,894 to $3,281,732. The increase is the result of revenues that were higher than predicted and management exercising good stewardship to keep expenditures below the budgeted levels. Additionally, the county added over $1.8 million in Capital Assets in Fiscal Year 2020 to include improved buildings, machinery, equipment, and infrastructure.
“We are proud of the county’s efforts to earn an unmodified audit and I am particularly proud that there were no material deficiencies in this audit,” stated Joey Preston, Bamberg County Administrator. “Over the past several years, the finance department has worked diligently to improve the county’s financial procedures, policies, and planning. Additionally, the increase in fund balance to over $3.2 million, indicates that the difference between the county’s assets and liabilities is positive and puts the county in a strong financial position, even with the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The summary of the Bamberg County FY 2020 Audit is available to download on the Bamberg County website at www.bambergcountysc.gov/reports-statements