04 Nov Port of Kennewick Receives 26th Consecutive Clean Financial Audit
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Port of Kennewick’s 2020 financial statement audit, was clean, complete and accurate – with no findings, according to both the independent CPA firm CliftonLarsenAllen (CLA) and the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO).
The Washington State Auditor’s Office issued notice November 3, 2022, officially closing the 2020 financial statement audit which covered detailed financial statements and statistical data related to the port’s operations. The goal of such independent audits is to provide reasonable assurance that financial statements are accurate and presented in a transparent manner which includes all disclosures necessary to provide a reasonable understanding of the port’s financial affairs.
The 2020 Financial Statement Audit was conducted by CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), an independent CPA firm. The CPA’s Financial Audit Report was thereafter reviewed by the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) which concurred with the CLA report.
The areas examined were Accounting Policies (internal controls, basis of accounting and reporting); Accounting Estimates [assets and depreciation, pension liabilities, related expenses, other post-employment benefits (OPEB]; Financial Statement Disclosures (found no sensitive disclosures, and determined statements were neutral, consistent, and clear, with no corrected misstatements). Indeed, the audit did not identify any material inconsistencies between other port information and the audited financial statements.
In all areas, the audit determined that Port of Kennewick operations complied with applicable state laws, regulations, and its own policies, and provided adequate controls over the safeguarding of public resources.
According to Nick Kooiker, the port’s chief financial officer, this marks 26 years where the Port of Kennewick received an independent Financial Statement Audit with no audit findings (a finding would indicate material deficiencies within the organization). Stated Kooiker, “These audits are important because people don’t always trust government. These SAO audits and reviews assure the public that that their tax dollars are being spent properly. In fact, the Port of Kennewick prides itself on transparency, and twenty-six years of clean audits is strong proof that our port has both high standards, and tight internal controls to safeguard the public’s funds.”
The State Auditor’s office regularly reviews the Port of Kennewick’s financial records and procedures to ensure complete and accurate reporting; there is no misuse of public funds; and that the organization follows state, local, and federal laws, along with its own policies and procedures. In addition, the SAO will often use external contractors such as CliftonLarsonAllen, a nationally recognized public accounting firm, to ensure both timely and comprehensive financial audits. According to the SAO Report on Accountability, “Independent audits provide essential accountability and transparency for port operations. This information is valuable to management, the governing body and public stakeholders when assessing the government’s stewardship of public resources.”
“Here at Port of Kennewick we recognize that we are stewards of the public’s trust and resources, and we strive to uphold the highest level of integrity in all of our operations,” stated President Skip Novakovich, Port of Kennewick Board of Commissioners. “A clean audit is key to assuring our taxpayers that we take our fiduciary duties seriously, and that we are using taxpayers’ funds to benefit the community.”
The SAO’s full report is available online at the Washington State Auditor’s Office: https://sao.wa.gov/reports-data/audit-reports/.
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