Audit confirms Town of Stony Plain in good financial health
When it comes to the financial records of the Town of Stony Plain, the Municipality is in good shape, an independent auditor has confirmed.
“Overall, the Town is in good financial health,” Phil Dirks, a chartered accountant with Hawkings Epp Dumont LLP, informed Town Council at the regular council meeting on Apr. 23, 2012. “The Town’s financial records are accurate, clear and very well-kept.”
Dirks was in Council chambers Monday evening to present the results of his firm’s audit of the Town's 2011 financials and to express his professional opinion of the Town’s financial statements.
Dirks’ report, which follows the Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS) – used for audits of financial statements and which constitute Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) for audits – revealed that the Town has low debt, healthy/moderate reserves, low taxes and controlled spending.
As of Dec. 31, 2011, the Town had net financial assets of $8,214,854, an increase of $440,090 from 2010. Capital and operating reserves totaled $10,481,079 and $2,419,562, respectively.
“It is not uncommon to see other municipalities with negative net assets, so the Town, with more than $8 million, is in excellent shape and should be commended,” Dirks told Council.
General revenues – sourced principally from net municipal property tax, sales and user charges and Provincial transfers/grants – totaled $24,672,911, while total expenses posted $25,691,306. Per capita, that works out to $1,654 per person, lower than the per capita average of more than $1,900 per person. Property taxes collected in 2011 work out to $657 per person – one of the lowest rates within the Capital Region.
The Town has relatively negligible long-term debt – only $6,009,103 as of year-end – and is well within its borrowing limit ($31,000,264) set by the Province, in accordance with the Alberta Municipal Government Act. Accumulated surplus at the end of 2011 was $132,763,843 - $118,261,286 of which was equity in capital assets.
Dirks complimented the Town’s recordkeeping, noting he found no major errors, omissions or discrepancies nor any major concerns or recommendations. He also noted that his team faced no difficulties throughout the audit process. Both Dirks and Dwight Ganske, acting mayor of Stony Plain, credited the Town’s administration for its due diligence in maintaining accurate and honest financial records and being good stewards of the Town’s financial resources.
“The Town remains in a solid financial position for a local government of its size and complexity,” Ganske said. “Council is very pleased with the findings contained within this report. Being wise stewards of the Town’s financial resources must always be our highest priority.”
A copy of the report, as well as the 2011 audited financial statements, will be posted on the Town’s website and made available for public review at the Town Office during regular business hours.