County tax collector working to fix audit

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Escambia County Tax Collector’s office has worked to fix findings in a recent audit released by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts.

The audit, which was for distribution period June 21, 2014 to July 10, 2017 and other collections period for June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2017, had a couple of findings.

During the time period in question Joy Wiggins served in the position through Sept. 30, 2015, and Tim Pettis, current tax collector, served the rest of the time.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The first finding dealt with bank reconcilements not being reconciled accurately.

“Amounts due include amounts at the examination ending date which should have previously been remitted to the proper agencies,” the audit reads. “These amounts result from errors in distribution of collections, failure to collect all costs that have been levied by a particular agency, or from calculation errors in the distribution reports. Amounts overpaid include amounts remitted to an agency by the tax collector in excess of the amounts the agency was entitle to receive.”

The second finding had to do with bank accounts being reconciled monthly with an accurate balance on hand.

The department of examiners recommended that all bank accounts be reconciled to the cashbook monthly along with an accurate analysis of the amounts on hand.

“During our audit, the examiners found that we overpaid certain agencies and underpaid others,” Pettis said. “We requested a refund from the agencies we overpaid and sent the amounts to the agencies that were underpaid.”

Pettis said that process was done with the assistance of the auditors.

“I am satisfied with the final result of balancing, and am happy with all the agencies that worked with us to correct the payments in error.”

Pettis also addressed the issue of bank reconciliations.

“Another finding by the auditors was our bank reconciliations were not completed in a timely manner for state compliance,” he said. “We are currently complying with state requirements. While every person in our office has always been held accountable, we have increased accountability for each employee. We are working hard in this office to make sure that reconciliations are done in a timely manner and in compliance with state guidelines.”

Pettis said he is thankful for the auditors’ accurate assessment of his office.

“We are striving for perfection; and I’m proud to say that with the help of all my employees, especially my chief Mrs. Watson, all of the money in the tax collector’s office, has been accounted for an properly disbursed.