Outside review yields county’s first ‘clean’ audit since 2002

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County’s Finance and Purchasing departments won high praises  from an outside auditing firm hired to review the county’s financial records and purchasing procedures for 2009 and found them to be in perfect order.

This annual financial review marks the first time since 2002 that the county has received a “clean” audit, meaning one where auditors found no unusual practices or areas to be improved, said Craig R. Marshall, the county’s finance director.

The audit of the county treasurer’s office was conducted by McEnerney, Brady & Company, an auditing firm from Livingston. The audit of some of the larger departments that collect revenue and the single audit (grants) was conducted by Hutchins, Farrell, Meyer, and Allison, of Freehold.

“Having no comments (on an audit) is not something we normally find,” Francis M. McEnerney, the auditor, told the Board of Chosen Freeholders at its July 22 meeting. “The levels of efficiency in finance and purchasing – we also visited various departments to take a couple of extra steps in our review – was refreshing to find. I want to praise Mr. Marshall and his staff.”

Monmouth County has a combined total balance sheet, or assets, in excess of $1.8 billion. The county is required by state statute to conduct an audit of its books, accounts and transactions annually. The report for 2009 was finalized on June 27, 2010.

Previous audits contained very minor comments from auditors and they were corrected, Marshall said.

“I congratulate Mr. Marshall and his staff, as well as our Purchasing director, Gerri Popkin, for their hard work and attention to detail,” said Freeholder Robert D. Clifton, liaison to both departments. “Thanks to their hard work and dedication, Monmouth County passed with flying colors.”

The clean audit comes on the heels of last year’s news that despite the economic downturn, the county retained its AAA bond-rating, a measure of how well it manages taxpayer money. Monmouth County is one of only 22 counties in the Unites States to achieve the AAA rating from all three major bond-rating agencies, Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.