City of Cleveland earns top ranking for audit

City of Cleveland Chief Financial Officer Leslie Herrera and City Manager Stacy Williams hold certificates from the Government Finance Officers Association that show the city achieved the highest possible ranking in its 2020-2021 audit .

The City of Cleveland earned the highest possible ranking for its 2020-2021 audit, according to auditing firm Brooks, Watson and Company, PLLC.

“As the City of Cleveland’s Chief Financial Officer, I am very proud to announce that this is the first year we have received an award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA),” Leslie Herrera said at the meeting. of the Cleveland City Council on March 15. “I want to thank my staff for their hard work and we will continue to accomplish so much more for the City of Cleveland.”

Lewis Breedlove, Principal Audit Manager for Brooks, Watson and Company, PLLC, shared the details of the audit with the Board, explaining that the audit is assessed in five phases: assessment, risk-based approach, testing compliance, field work, conclusion and report. .

Breedlove called the city’s financial record keeping “exceptional” and said the audit not only meets GFOA scrutiny, but should assure Cleveland residents that the city is transparent about financial matters.

The audit shows that growth is having a favorable impact on the City of Cleveland’s bottom line with property taxes up 12% in 2021 compared to 2020. The exact numbers are $3,188,794 million in 2020 and of $3,586,794 million in 2021, a difference of $398,156.

Sales taxes also increased in 2021 compared to 2020, with an additional $409,814 to come.

Licenses and permits jumped 167%, also attributed to new growth. The amount received for this in 2020 was $286,355; in 2021, the amount increased to $764,131, a difference of $477,776.

Breedlove said the audit was conducted in accordance with all ethical requirements and there was no difficulty in dealing with management or making necessary adjustments.

“The audit went as smoothly as possible. The team was very responsive and I couldn’t have asked for better in terms of auditing,” he says.

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