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Financial Audit praises Rockdale County finance department
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Auditors had words of high praise for the County's comprehensive financial report and finance department and noted Rockdale's financial health compared to other metro area counties at the Board of Commissioners work session on Monday night.

In boiling it down for a lay audience, Mike Jones, from the firm of Jones, McKnight and Edmonson, noted that one important indicator of financial health was the fund balance of the general fund.

"Our county increased its fund balance," said Jones. "We ended the year with a sufficient working capital to pay our bills for 64 percent of the ensuing year."

Onlye one county, Fayette County, had a fund balance higher than Rockdale, said Jones.

"We're one of the strongest counties with respect to our financial position, of any county in the metro area," Jones said. "That's a credit. I know times are tough. Taxes are hard to come by. It's a credit to the management of the county that they have been able to make the tough decisions that are necessary to keep our county in a good financial position."

Auditor Stan Edmond noted the turnaround of the water and sewer department's finances from a $344,000 deficit in 2008 to a $3.152 million profit in 2009.

Rockdale Water Resources department Director Dwight Wicks pointed out a significant portion of the cost of depreciation of equipment, pipes and facilities remained uncovered by the additional revenue from rate increases last year.

Both auditors also praised the performance of the finance department.

"The county, had not prepared, in my 10 years, a comprehensive financial report until 2008," said Jones. "For the first time, we submitted it to have it reviewed (by the Government Finance Officer's Association), and that demonstrates a good job by the finance department and the quality of county financial statement." Rockdale County was recognized with a GFOA certificate of excellence for the first time this year.

Jones, McKnight and Edmonson have been the county's auditors for 10 years. The contract will be up for bidding this year, as a matter of due dilligence, said Finance Department Director Roselyn Miller.