Saturday, June 15, 2024

Utility authority improves financial reporting, audit shows

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority improved its financial reporting last fiscal year, according to results of an audit presented at this month’s meeting of the authority board.

Auditor Greg Adams, of accounting firm Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams & Co., noted no issues in his analysis of the authority’s financial reports for fiscal year 2011-12. Among the numbers Adams reported was overall revenue increasing from $57 million the previous year to $60 million last fiscal year.

“I guess we got a passing grade then,” acknowledged Chairman Jim Quinn, to which Adams responded that “everything looked great.” Adams added that issues found last year were corrected and no additional issues were found.

Adams reported the authority ended the fiscal year with net assets totaling $376 million – a gain of $16 million over the previous year. Cheryl Spivey, chief financial officer, attributed the increase to keeping expenditures below projections in the budget.

Spivey said water and sewer usage was down last year, with customers using 1.5 percent less total water and 2 percent less sewer capacity. The authority’s operating fund totaled $68.9 million, with 49 percent of that put into debt service and $31 million paying for capital projects, which last year totaled 130.

Mike McGill, the authority’s new chief communications officer, noted the audit’s results in a release issued following the meeting.

“Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is pleased to announce it has received a clean audit for Fiscal Year 2012 from the Wilmington-based accounting firm Thompson, Price, Scott, Adams and Company,” the release stated.

“The audit examined, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in CFPUA’s financial assessments. The audit also included assessing the accounting principles used by CFPUA and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.”

McGill also noted the authority has received a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for a third year for its report of fiscal year 2010-11. The report for fiscal year 2011-12 has been submitted to the program for consideration.

“The award is given to government units and public employee retirement systems whose comprehensive annual financial reports achieve the highest standards in government accounting and financial reporting,” the authority states.

“We are proud of the work done by our finance team on behalf of our customers,” authority CEO Matt Jordan is quoted as saying. “Our improved financial condition will enable us to address critical infrastructure needs and reduced costs, while continuing to fulfill our commitments of stewardship, sustainability and service to our customers, the community and the region.”

At last week’s board meeting, Jordan also presented his annual report, which he said reflected “another successful year of operations.” Jordan added the authority’s financial condition had improved overall, along with increased operational efficiency.

Jordan noted the authority is now entering into its fifth year of existence, and he expressed appreciation “not only to the board but to the staff that makes it happen.”

A summary of the meeting and copies of reports and presentations can be viewed on the authority’s website here.

Jonathan Spiers can be reached at (910) 772-6313 or jonathan.s@portcitydaily.com.

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