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Township aces financial audit

August 21, 2013 - Independence Township is healthy financially, according to a financial audit.

Representatives from auditing firm UHY presented their findings to Independence Township Board of Trustees for 2012 at the Aug. 13 meeting.

During the auditing process, UHY employees reviewed government financial statements, looked at particular trends and compared different years. This year, UHY representative James Buckley said the township fared better financially than in previous years.

Buckley said the good audit is due to a committed Board of Trustees and committed and efficient employees.

Independence Township Supervisor Pat Kittle thanked the Board of Trustees and Treasurer Paul Brown for all their hard work.

"The trustees installed checks and balances to make sure the township is financially stable and we have money in the bank," said Kittle.

Buckley said the firm had no disagreements or difficulties working with townships employees, and management was very well prepared and allocated enough time for the process.

Buckley went over some of the township's finances during the meeting. In 2012, the township received about $2.5 million in revenue sharing from the state of Michigan, and projects a slight increase for 2013.

"Management was very cooperative and did allow us enough time to complete the audit," said Buckley.

He also reviewed and summarized assets and liabilities held by the township, which totaled $39.6 million in total assets and $12.7 million in liabilities.

Buckley also reviewed some of the more intricate details of the township's finances.

He also assured the board that although property tax values were down slightly in 2012, they are projected to increase slightly in 2014.

As for the money in the bank, Buckley said it's challenging to earn much cash from banked funds.

"Investment earnings have been a challenge for all governments," said Buckley. "Just can't get a good return on excess cash."

-Andrea Beaudoin

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