WASILLA — The Wasilla City Council heard their annual audit presentation from the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which won the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Governmental Financial Officers Association for the second straight year. The audit of Wasilla’s CAFR for FY 20 was presented by BDO USA LLC. Audit Director Sam Thompson, who said that BDO had issued an unmodified opinion, the highest level of assurance that could professionally be rendered.
“We encountered no difficulties with management. All of the information that we required was provided to us in a timely manner, all our questions were answered and the cooperation we received was outstanding,” said Thompson.
Thompson detailed the numbers on financial statements for Wasilla and noted major expenses, thanking Wasilla Finance Director Troy Tankersly and his department for cooperation in assisting with the audit both in person and virtually. The CAFR submitted by Wasilla is not required to be submitted.
“We are required to report if we come across significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting and I’m happy to report we came across none over overall. The city’s controls related to e the financial statements are very strong, robust and in accordance with professional standards,” said Thompson. “There are very few cities across the country much less in Alaska that take on this challenge and do prepare the financial statements and go after this award so hats off to the finance dept.”
The city’s only remaining debt is to an AEDC clean drinking water project for $661,800 and the $34 million in unrestricted free net position is an improvement over 2019. Wasilla spent $8.8 million in public safety, which has traditionally been the highest expense for the city. Of that funding, $3.3 million was from operating grants such as the CARES Act. The General Fund Balance has a total fund balance of over $24 million with over $9 million in unassigned fund balance available for the council and administration to use as they see best fit.
“Anytime the change in net position is positive, that is good. That means your revenues exceeded your expenditures for the year again this as you are well aware, the city’s number one source of funding is sales taxes and sales tax revenue for FY 20 was just over $20 million. Expenditures for the year totaled $25 mil and this includes depreciation and certain pension items which don’t actually represent a cash outflow,” said Thompson.
Thompson also discussed the items in the Enterprise Fund. While the water utility fund was the only one to have an operating income of almost $100,000, the Sports Center lost $420,000.
“However you’ll see especially for the sports center fund there was funding provided from other funds that came in to help cover part of those losses and overall all the funds had a positive change in net position or equity for the year except for the sports center,” said Thompson.
The BDO website can be found at https://www.bdo.com.