Sugar Land receives clean audit
A recent external audit of Sugar Land’s financial records for fiscal year 2013 (Oct.1, 2012, through Sept. 30, 2013) received the highest level of assurance. Whitley Penn, LLP, served as the City’s external audit firm.
According to the audit report, known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), the City of Sugar Land’s economy continued to experience steady growth, as evidenced by an increase in net assets of $37.5 million.
Other economic highlights cited in the report follow:
• Net property values grew 2.5 percent to $9.7 billion, an increase of $242 million over 2011 values. New development accounted for $133 million of the increase.
• New commercial construction valuation totaled $126 million, an increase of $101.4 million in taxable value from the prior year.
• A total of 1.491 million square feet of commercial value were permitted for construction during the year.
• The City ended the year even better than anticipated, with sales tax revenues totaling $44.96 million compared to $43.2 million in the prior year, a 4.1 percent increase.
The CAFR credited the City’s Financial Management Policy Statements for establishing a framework for fiscal decision-making to ensure financial resources are available to meet the present and future needs of citizens.
According to the report, the policy statements combined with long-range financial planning ensure prudent budgeting and fiscal health. One benefit of this is reflected in the City’s strong AAA bond rating.
Audit results typically include recommendations – known as management comments – for improvements to policies and procedures that will enhance the internal control structure of the City. There were no recommendations this year.
“We are proud of the fact that Sugar Land received an unmodified or ‘clean’ opinion with no management comments again this year,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. “The completion of this audit without any comments is a reflection of sound financial management and provides the highest level of integrity for our citizens. I am proud of all of our staff members who contribute to this accomplishment.”
Receiving a clean audit signifies that the City has proven management control over financial policies and procedures and has a solid understanding of its financial transactions and is able to provide financial summaries that are accurate and reliable.
The external audit is required by the City’s charter and state law. It is an important tool to ensure transparency and maintain the public’s trust that City resources are being used effectively and efficiently. The complete CAFR is available on the City’s website at www.sugarlandtx.gov.
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