Preparation for Y2K mars an otherwise healthy county audit
Nevada County received a passing grade in its latest outside audit, although concerns over the Year 2000 computer bug did cloud a report that was otherwise generally favorable.The firm of Smith and Newell in Yuba City indicated that during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1998, Nevada County followed generally accepted accounting procedures.State law requires the annual outside audit of the county.”All in all, the county is in great shape,” concluded county Auditor-Controller Bruce Bielefelt.Nonetheless, the feared computer glitch, or Y2K bug, is the fly in the county’s ointment.Opinion offeredThe audit offered its opinion with the qualification that it was uncertain how Y2K glitches might affect financial matters.”Because of the unprecedented nature of the Year 2000 issue, its effects and the success of related remediation efforts will not be fully determinable until the year 2000 and thereafter,” Smith & Newell concluded in its report.For instance, certain county systems may fail, requiring costly upgrades and causing financial problems, Bielefelt said.The county will make the necessary changes before 2000 arrives however, said County Administrator David Brennan.”Our plan is to be (Y2K) compliant in advance,” Brennan said.Cities and counties across the nation will receive that qualifier in outside audits, Bielefelt said. Still the qualifier smarts for him: It was the first time the county has received a “qualified” opinion since his tenure as auditor-controller began in 1986, Bielefelt said.Meanwhile, the county received a slew of recommendations to tighten its accounting procedures.The report’s findings also suggest the county was paying attention to recommendations from the audit for the prior fiscal year, 1996-97.Most implementedIn a list of 26 recommendations, 16 were implemented and another five were partially implemented.Only three were not implemented at all, according to Smith & Newell.Of the two remaining recommendations, one process was transferred to another office, and another recommendation was in the process being implemented.
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