An external review of Gainesville Regional Utilities' (GRU) financial records for fiscal year 2022 found no significant problems with the municipal utility’s financial statements.
The audit by independent firm Baker Tilly examined key transactions, as well as the areas in GRU’s financial reports that contain a significant number of estimates and the utility’s implementation of new accounting standards.
Bethany Ryers, a partner at Baker Tilly, presented the findings to a Wednesday audit committee meeting, which voted unanimously to accept the report and the audited financial statements and forward them to the full Gainesville City Commission.
Ryers said GRU’s financial documents had received an unmodified opinion from the auditing firm – which means that the financial statements are clean and free of serious misstatements and follow accepted accounting principles.
Ryers also said the audit firm also found no material weaknesses or significant problems with internal financial controls in the course of reviewing GRU’s statements.
An external audit is conducted regularly on GRU financial statements and is not related to the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) operational audit of the utility, which focused in part on GRU’s debt and the amount of the utility’s revenues that are transferred to the city’s general government operations.
That JLAC audit has led the local Florida Legislature delegation to propose a bill that would take control of GRU away from the city and put it in control of an appointed five-person board.
Mayor Harvey Ward, who chairs the three-person audit committee, said, “I want to commend our utility’s finance and staff for being able to receive this unqualified audit... It’s been a challenging year for everybody across the organization, and I appreciate you all being a part of this good work going forward.”
Ward added as he adjourned the 25-minute meeting, which had no other items on its agenda: “I do hope we can have more audit meetings just like this one for the next several years. This my favorite audit meeting ever.”