Independent audit of Routt County’s 2021 finances comes back clean

Auditor said the county's "financial health continues to be strong."

An audit of Routt County’s 2021 finances didn’t flag any significant issues, with the independent auditor saying the county’s “financial health continues to be strong.”

Including non-monetary assets like buildings and roads, Routt County’s assets over liabilities totaled about $247 million, with about $180 million representing equity in assets. About $60 million of the $247 million is considered unrestricted.

Michael Jenkins, a partner with auditing firm McMahan and Associates LLC, said one of the best ways to gauge financial health is to look at ending fund balances as a percentage of current expenditures.

“How long could government survive if we have exactly the same expenditures next year as we did this year, just based on what we have in fund balances,” Jenkins said. “In 2021, that fund balance was 76% of expenditures. That’s certainly a good position to be in.”

Jenkins said ensuring these fund balances are strong is especially important for Routt County because of its reliance in part on sales taxes, which are not always consistent.

“Economic uncertainty seems to be the word of the day, and it’s been something that the county has been really good at, making sure there is something to fall back on,” Jenkins said.

The audit suggests some recommendations to improve the county’s accounting systems, some of which have been carried over from previous year’s audits. One of the recommendations concerned cash transactions in several departments.

County Finance Director Dan Strnad said the county is working to improve systems regarding cash. He pointed to a request from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office to add a digital ticketing system that could help with reporting of some of these transactions.

“That would help tracking those kinds of things and automating that process,” Strnad said.  

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.