Harmon releases AUP engagment of Bell Co. Clerk

Published 8:52 am Thursday, August 15, 2019

State Auditor Mike Harmon recently released the 2018 agreed-upon procedures engagement of Bell County Clerk Debbie Gambrel.

In 2018, the Kentucky General Assembly, following a recommendation by the state auditor, passed legislation that allows county sheriffs and clerks that met certain criteria to apply for an Agreed-Upon Procedure (AUP) engagement in lieu of an audit of their fee account. The intent of the change, which became effective in July 2018, was to reduce audit costs for sheriffs and clerks that have a history of clean audits, while still maintaining an appropriate level of accountability.

Gambrel applied for and received approval for the Auditor of Public Accounts to obtain an AUP engagement for calendar year 2018 in accordance with KRS 43.070.

AUP reports present the procedures performed and the results of those procedures, called findings. Auditors performed the procedures, which were agreed to by the Bell County Clerk, on receipts and disbursements, excess fees, recordkeeping, and leases, contracts and liabilities for the period Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018.

The following exceptions were identified during the AUP engagement:

• The clerk properly reconciled the fee account for Dec. 31, 2018 but did not reconcile the usage account;

• Excess fees due to the fiscal court were recalculated and do not agree to the actual bank balance. There is $8,725 additional excess fee due the fiscal court;

• Services received were appropriate for official business and were properly authorized. Liabilities were not properly disclosed on the fourth quarter financial statement.

As it pertains to the usage account, Gambrel said the bookkeeper reconciles the usage account with the bank statement monthly.

“Usage account balanced a zero balance at the end of the year,” said Gambrel. “(The) clerk will oversee and reconcile usage account with (the) bookkeeper.”

In regards to the excess fees due to the fiscal court, the clerk said the balance difference of $274 was for outstanding checks, and the correct additional excess fee of $8,725 will be properly submitted to the fiscal court.

When it comes to the liabilities, Gambrel said the office was not aware the lease agreement report needed to be attached to the fourth quarter report.

“The lease agreement report will be properly disclosed on our fourth quarter report in the future,” said the clerk.

The county clerk’s responsibilities include collecting certain taxes, issuing licenses, maintaining count records and providing other services. The clerk’s office is funded through statutory fees collected in conjunction with these duties.