Wake Forest earns favorable audit report

From WSJ Staff Reports

During its normal monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 21, the Board of Commissioners received the results of an independent audit report from Cherry Bekaert LLP for the period July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

In addition to not revealing any audit findings or problems, the report acknowledged that the Town is in compliance with all of its financial policies and operating with strong internal controls in place. The report also included several financial performance highlights:

  • Net change in the Town’s fund balance resulted in an increase of $5.7 million in the general fund;
  • Wake Forest collected 99.73% of its property taxes – higher than the average rate of 98.93 percent for towns of similar size;
  • The Town’s property tax base was $6.8 billion on June 30, 2021, compared to $5.7 billion at the same time last year;
  • Property tax collections were $33.7 million – $4.3 million more than last year;
  • The electric fund’s change in net position decreased $55,000;
  • Wake Forest has a total outstanding debt of $47.9 million, which is substantially less than the legal debt margin of $500 million. Also, the percentage of the debt compared to the tax valuation is 0.65 percent, less than the Town’s policy of two percent or the state’s statute which is eight percent.

Chief Financial Officer Aileen Staples said that despite the ongoing challenges associated with COVID, the Town enjoyed another stellar year.

“Thanks to our conservative approach to spending and the incredible collaboration of our Board of Commissioners, management and staff, we enjoyed another successful year,” said Staples. “Despite the challenges we continue to face related to the pandemic, we enjoyed several successes in 2021, including the triple A rating we earned from Moody’s back in May. On top of that, we received the Certificate for Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 31st consecutive year.”

To view the 2020-21 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, visit wakeforestnc.gov and search “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.” For more information, contact CFO Aileen Staples at 919-435-9461 or astaples@wakeforestnc.gov.

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