State Auditor Mike Harmon’s office released Thursday the 2019 audit for the Christian County Sheriff’s Office tax settlement.
The audit represents the taxes charged, credited, and paid for the period of April 16, 2019, through May 15, 2020. It contained one comment that the sheriff’s office had weak internal controls over the tax collection process.
The report stated controls at the sheriff’s office were not working effectively. There was a lack of segregation of duties over the tax collection process, and compensating controls do not appear to have been effective when accounting for tax collections.
The report added the sheriff’s former bookkeeper collected taxes, prepared daily deposits, and collected reports prepared monthly tax reports, issued and signed tax distributions checks, posted transactions to the ledgers, and reconciled the tax account. Sheriff Tyler DeArmond said the former bookkeeper lacked sufficient understanding of all accounting concepts and responsibilities related to the tax collection process. The former bookkeeper did not let the sheriff know she was struggling with accounting for the tax collections.
Due to the weakness in internal control, the following issues were noted:
• Tax commissions due to the sheriff’s fee account were not remitted timely. The tax account
owes the sheriff’s fee account $147,524 in tax commissions earned on October 2019 tax
• Refunds were miscalculated; resulting in one taxpayer receiving an overpayment of more than
$15,000. The sheriff filed a claim with the former bookkeeper’s bond for $15,000.
• The sheriff has a deficit of $479 in his 2019 tax account.
The Christian County Sheriff’s Department has since implemented a three-step internal process to ensure accurate accounting records are maintained, they properly account for tax commissions, ensure they properly remit fees to Christian County 75/25% Accounts, and ensure they have internal control over disbursements.
Sheriff DeArmond added they would continue to work closely with their Auditors and County Treasurer to ensure all areas of his office are held and kept to the highest standards.