Meridale Rural Fire District - Management of Fund Balance (2018M-178)

Issued Date
November 30, 2018

Released: November 30, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board properly managed fund balance.

Key Findings

  • Unassigned fund balance increased from $66,600 to $134,300 (102 percent) from 2014 to 2017, which could fund over three years’ worth of expenditures.
  • On average, actual expenditures were 39 percent less than budgeted appropriations from 2014 to 2017.
  • The Board has not established any formal reserves or adopted formal financial plans.

Key Recommendations

  • Reduce the amount of unassigned fund balance and use the excess as a financing source to benefit District taxpayers by funding one-time expenditures and needed reserves, paying down debt and reducing real property taxes.
  • Adopt realistic budgeted appropriations that reflect the District’s operating needs based on historic trends, contracts or other projections.
  • Develop and adopt financial plans for the maintenance of a reasonable level of fund balance and the funding and use of reserves.

District officials generally agreed with our findings and recommendations but questioned one issue. Appendix B includes our comment on the issue raised in the District’s response.