Pulaski County talks audit process

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 4:33 PM EDT
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PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Each locality in Virginia is required to go through a financial audit every year.

Pulaski County is opening up about its annual auditing process and is sharing some steps its taking to make sure there’s more transparency going forward.

“We can, of course, tighten up our processes and we’re looking at doing that,” Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said.

Some Pulaski County citizens are demanding more transparency from county officials on financial matters.

Sweet says the county’s 2021 audit returned with no major concerns, but there is room for improvement.

“We put together an action plan that’s been completed, and we implement that action plan,” he said. “We’re going to continue to evolve our new financial software system to meet the timely needs of our finance department and our counting operations.”

Sweet works alongside the county’s Director of Finance Diane Newby, who helps make sure there’s transparency in the county’s finances..

“All of our money is taxpayer money, essentially, so you want to make sure that those funds are spent in a very open and convenient manner, but also very transparent manner,” she said.

Newby says despite some pushback from the community, the audit is clean and there are a few ways the county makes the data available.

“We do post our check registers online under the Board of Supervisors’ agendas; they are under public session so anybody out there can go in and look to see what payments we’ve made, who we paid, how much we paid, what those payments were for,” Newby said.

Even with those models, Sweet says understanding the data can be a challenge, but his office is available to help.

“Public finance is very complicated and really, there’s a lot of questions that that need to be understood prior to jumping to conclusions,” he said.

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