Audit shows lack of receipts

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Members of the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors have differing opinions regarding the issue of missing itemized receipts from a 2016 audit performed by Robinson, Farmer, Cox — the firm the county has worked with on audits for several years.

According to a Nov. 29 memorandum from the firm, over the course of the audit, the auditors noted several monthly credit card statements paid by the county did not have detailed supporting documentation.

“To strengthen internal controls over the purchasing and use of county issued credit cards, we recommend the county require all departments to submit detailed vendor receipts supporting each credit card transaction,” auditors said in the memorandum.

The document also cited the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office’s petty cash checking account.

“The account is used to write a minimal number of checks each month — approximately one to 10 checks per month — for office expenses,” auditors said in the memorandum. “Our test of disbursements disclosed two checks made payable to ‘cash’ related fundraising events.”

According to Robinson, Farmer, Cox, the checks were written and issued with a single signature on each check.

“Due to the higher risk related to checks made payable to cash, we recommend checks made payable to cash have two signatures,” auditors said in the memorandum.

Regarding the itemized receipts, Clark said county officials have addressed the issue.

“In the future, we’re going to try our best to get itemized receipts. It’s very difficult to always get one,” Clark said. “We’ve got a policy now that says you have to turn in an itemized receipt.”

Cullen/Red House District Supervisor Dr. Nancy Carwile said the county works with many people on volunteer-based boards to receive input.

“For the most part, they keep up with their receipts and so forth, but there have been instances where someone has lost a receipt and when a person is a volunteer. It’s hard to say, ‘No, we’re not going to pay for it,’” Carwile said.

Carwile said she thinks the board will examine the policy again during the next meeting because someone has complained.

“I just haven’t found any instance where any of these volunteers are cheating the county,” Carwile said.

“All of those (issues) for the county’s side were for restaurant-type things,” said Board Chairman and County Seat Supervisor Gary Walker. “A couple of those for the sheriff’s office, PeopleSmart, it’s a search engine where they can do like background checks on people — it was like $19.95 and I was like, ‘How do you itemize it?’”

Drakes Branch District Supervisor Garland H. “Butch” Hamlett Jr. said it was his thought that any travel expenses or any business performed by county employees should have a receipt with a detailed travel voucher.

“I know (from) my time in the military if I spent money and I was to be reimbursed I had to have a travel voucher with receipts,” Hamlett said.

He thinks the board needs to revisit the issue of travel and make sure anytime money is being spent there’s a receipt for it.

Hamlett offered a motion during the Aug. 8 board meeting to require travel vouchers be submitted to the county and signed by Clark. The motion failed due to the lack of a second.