February 25, 2024

Florida audit trends show fewer discrepancies with local government agencies

The Florida Auditor General has released a summary of financial trends identified in local government audit reports for fiscal year 2021-22.

The 1,438 audit reports filed with the Auditor General were reviewed for 1,689 entities including 302 county agencies, 299 municipalities and 1,088 special districts.

Audit reports for 1,391 entities contained no significant findings, while 298 had 520 issues found, 22% less than the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Around 186 of those 520 issues were also reported in the 2020-21 and 2020-19 fiscal year audit reports. According to the Auditor General report, many of those findings did not include one or more of the elements and rules required by the Auditor General or Government Auditing Standards.

Of those, it was found that 114 issues were reported to be material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting, 115 issues were found to be significant deficiencies, and 48 issues were reported to be noncompliance required by auditing standards to be reported.

The Auditor General also identified financial trends and found that the audit reports of four local governmental entities included concerns from auditors questioning whether operations could continue on an ongoing basis. This included Leon County Educational Facilities Authority, SWI Community Development District, Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority and Trailer Estates Fire Control District.

Audit reports for 22 special districts reported that the entity met at least one condition for being in a financial emergency. This is an improvement, however, after auditors compared the previous four fiscal years and found 2021-22 had the fewest number of entities meeting at least one of these conditions.

One municipality and 25 special districts reported that the entity's financial conditions were deteriorating, a decrease from 45 entities that reported deteriorating financial conditions in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

According to the report between 2013 and 2022, county and municipality taxable property values increased by $1.3 trillion and $514 billion respectively, while taxes levied have increased by $6 billion for counties and $2.6 billion for municipalities in that same period.

Financial trends for numerous other entities were identified that may also indicate deteriorating financial conditions, including decreasing operating incomes or increasing operating costs

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