City’s finances remain strong, audit report shows

The city of Bessemer’s FY 2016 Audit has been completed and the results show the city’s financial position remains strong. The audit, which covers the period from Oct. 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, was completed by the firm of Kellum, Wilson and Associates, P.C. It was presented to Mayor Kenneth Gulley and members of the Bessemer City Council during the Tuesday, July 11 Planning Session. “This audit shows the strength of the city, that we’re fiscally strong,” said Mayor Kenneth Gulley. “Each year our audit has gotten better. “We’re thankful for the work of our financial leadership and our accountants. These results are evidence that they are doing what is necessary to provide service to the citizens and taxpayers of Bessemer.” Bessemer currently has a Standard and Poor’s rating of AA, which is a strong indicator of the city’s ability to meet its’ financial obligations. The ratings agency rates governments and industry on their ability to manage funds. The ratings determine the ability to secure additional funding for future enterprises. In FY2016, the city reduced its debt burden by $2,355,000. The city ended the year with a positive general fund balance of $18,902,515 in 2016, a reduction of $1,125,794 from 2015. The reduction was primarily due to the construction and initial operations of much anticipated projects such as the Bessemer Recreation Center and the Frank House Municipal Golf Course, which was rebuilt following its total devastation by a tornado in April 2014. Auditor Lori Kes, CPA, complimented the city’s Administration and Finance Director Kela Pryor and the department staff for the strong audit. Kes said the city’s Finance Department took several steps to improve on past audit results, which were strong as well. Kes said some past audit findings have been corrected and there were no new findings for the fiscal year. “This audit shows that we have been very frugal and have spent taxpayer money wisely,” said District 2 Councilman Chester Porter. The city’s Finance Department is responsible for safeguarding the city’s finances. It oversees treasury management, accounts payable, purchasing, revenue collection, debt management, budgeting, payroll and human resources and internal auditing. In addition, the finance department is responsible for grant management, contract compliance, and the establishment and implementation of internal controls policy and procedure. Each year the city provides its audit report on-line. Click  City of Bessemer AL September 30 2016 Audited Financial Statements to read the audit.