By Jessica Mathews /

The City of Howell has again received a clean audit and earned the highest possible opinion.

City Council met virtually Monday night and voted to accept the audit report as presented. This was the first year the Yeo & Yeo firm has performed an audit for the City for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 2020. The City again received an “unqualified” opinion, meaning the statements present fairly the financial position of the City’s activities.

Audit Principal Jamie Rivette was in attendance at the meeting and said she felt it went very smooth for a first year. Rivette said she was happy to report that there were no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies related to the City’s internal controls over financial reporting, which were reviewed and analyzed. She commented further that they’re always looking at ways to help clients improve with efficiencies as well as tighten internal controls to make them more effective. For a first year audit and a new firm coming in, Rivette said they usually have at least four to five items. She said they didn’t have anything to note to help the City improve at this time and the City’s finance department did an excellent job in all of the different areas they look at. Rivette said having a new firm come in and a new set of eyes; they’re looking at different things and commended the City for a job well done.

A memo states that based on the 2019/2020 fiscal year, the ending fund balance represents 34.66% of general fund expenditures and transfers out, which is higher than the 20% target. Due to some budgets amendments that were approved, the percentage will be reduced to 28.5%. It was noted the City is about 59% MERS funded, the Municipal Employees Retirement System.

Mayor Nick Proctor commented that the City is very fortunate and proud to have a top notch financial department, further commending Director Catherine Stanislawski. He noted that a few months ago the City was also again recognized for excellence in financial reporting.