Bamberg, South Carolina (March 2022) – Bamberg County Government is pleased to announce that it has earned an unmodified audit opinion on its June 30, 2021 financial statements. This announcement, along with a detailed presentation was made at the March 7, 2022 County Council meeting.
Love Bailey CPAs, an independent auditing firm with offices in Georgia and South Carolina, concluded after thorough review that Bamberg County earned an unmodified opinion (clean) in its annual audit report. The auditing team returned an unmodified audit report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2021. An unmodified audit is the highest level a municipality or county can receive.
"An unmodified clean audit provides the highest level of assurance to our residents that the County is fiscally sound," said County Administrator Joey Preston. "It demonstrates Bamberg County's solid fiscal management, the hard work of our County Council and staff, operational efficiencies, and our commitment to handling our residents' tax dollars with integrity and transparency."
The unmodified opinion on the Fiscal Year 2021 Bamberg County audit marks the seventh consecutive year the county has earned an unmodified opinion on its audit; all auditor opinions between 2009 and 2014 were either adverse or qualified. An unmodified audit opinion 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.
The annual audit provides the County Council and residents with an overview of the County's finances for the fiscal year, which ends on June 30 each year for Bamberg County. 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 by $1,774,960 to $5,056,692. The increase is the result of revenues that were higher than predicted and management exercising conservative spending practices to keep expenditures below the budgeted levels. Additionally, the county added $1,458,801 in Capital Assets in Fiscal Year 2021 to include improved buildings, machinery, equipment, and infrastructure.
An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used, and the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. The State Comptroller's Office and other multiple State agencies are also provided a copy of the audited financial statements.
"Bamberg County has once again demonstrated its commitment for strong financial management and prudent fiscal policies. This success is a direct result of everyone working together toward common goals, beginning with County Council, and continuing to the County Administrator and staff." said County Controller Gina Smith "This is excellent news for Bamberg County and provides the Bamberg County Council a solid platform to plan for and provide services to our residents and businesses."