State auditor tracks treasurer's success

·2 min read

Jun. 11—Steps taken "immediately upon taking office" to correct past problems appear to be paying off for Muskogee County Treasurer Robyn Boswell.

An annual examination of the office conducted by the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector's Office found "no exceptions" to what state law requires. This was the second time in two years that state auditors found no exceptions during their annual examination of county treasurers' records.

Boswell said these positive findings for a second consecutive year underscore accomplishments she and her staff have chalked up. She said that was made possible by "implementing policies and procedures that had not been in place."

"Bank reconciliations had not been properly performed for several years prior to my administration," Boswell said. "My office reconciles with the bank each and every month as required by the State Auditor's Office."

A similar examination of the Muskogee County Treasurer's Office conducted five months before Boswell took office in July 2019 cited four exceptions. The cause for each centered on an apparent failure to design and implement policies and procedures that could result with errors and, if not "not detected in a timely manner ..., result in misappropriation of funds."

Former Treasurer Kelly Garrett, in his response to the auditor's findings, said some errors had been corrected, but the origins of another were untraceable. He acknowledged a misstatement of the general ledger that resulted with "unrecorded transactions, misstated financial reports and undetected errors" was an "infraction" that "occurred due to our negligence," but corrective action had been taken.

The annual examination determines "whether bank reconciliations are properly performed," verifies certificates of deposits, and confirms county investments. State auditors also examined reconciliations of subsidiary records with the general ledger and "whether deposits and invested funds are secured by pledged collateral."

"The goal of the State Auditor and Inspector is to promote accountability and fiscal integrity in state and local government," Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd said in a cover letter to Muskogee County Board of Commissioners. "Maintaining our independence as we provide this service to the taxpayers is of utmost importance."

Boswell said since taking office there has been a restructuring of the county's CDs and investments. She said that was a task "that had previously been ignored for years."

"Subsidiary records are now reconciled to our general ledger each month as required. That had not been performed in years prior to our administration," Boswell said. "There are still many tasks we look forward to tackling, but I am very proud of what my office has accomplished in the two years we have been here."

The annual examination was described by Byrd as a "statutory engagement" limited in scope to three designated procedures. The scope of the engagement "was less ... than an audit performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards."

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