A recent external audit of Sugar Land’s financial statements for fiscal year 2016 (Oct.1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016) received the highest level of assurance that the information presented is reliable.
The audit was performed by Whitley Penn, LLP, the city’s external audit firm. According to the audit report contained in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), the City of Sugar Land’s financial position is healthy. At the end of the fiscal year, the city is able to report positive balances in all categories of net position – for the government as a whole, as well as for its separate governmental and business-type activities. The total net position at the end of fiscal year is $649 million.
The city also implemented new reporting requirements mandated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. These changes are reflected in the CAFR.
Some financial highlights cited in the report follow:
– Net property values grew 8.5 percent to $11.82 billion, an increase of $926 million over 2014 values. New development accounted for $127 million of the increase, while existing property grew by $801 million.
– The city ended the year within anticipated revenues, with sales tax revenues totaling $52.4 million, a 1.9 percent increase compared to $51.4 million in the prior year.
– Continued implementation of the voter-approved general obligation bonds for park projects without increasing the tax rate.
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, demonstrating confidence in the city’s internal controls.
“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, an important part of our strategy to provide the quality services our citizens expect while maintaining one the lowest tax rates in the state. I am proud of all of our staff members who contribute to this accomplishment.”
Receiving a clean audit signifies that the city has demonstrated management control of the city’s finances. This was achieved through policies, accounting practices and procedures and having a solid understanding of the city’s financial transactions. 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/Finance/Accounting.