Letter: Fear Not- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

At Monday night’s county council meeting, the auditor pronounced the county’s audit as a “clean audit,” and we were told, for the third time in three years, that the next audit will be done on time.

Meanwhile the patient (the county’s finances) has all the earmarks of being very fiscally sick. Truly, that clean audit pronouncement did not include a complete analysis of the all troubling symptoms of our financial department. These worrisome symptoms include: three years of overdue audits in a row, the $800K in misplaced funds fiasco, an unprecedented department turnover, a 20.57% increase in county expenses for 2023 (perhaps due, at least in part, to inaccurate county financial statements, the million dollar IRS disaster, over a million dollars spent by one employee alone on a non-budgeted expense and without council’s approval. These numerous severe symptoms require a complete exam by a specialist – a forensic expert – rather than a general practitioner’s cursory exam.

Before we pop open the champagne over a “clean audit,” let’s remember an audit is only designed to detect material misstatements.  An annual audit does not have the depth or focus of a forensic accounting audit.

The county has too much at stake to not have a full forensic audit to ensure the county finances are 100% in order and accurately support the final Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, accurate finances are an imperative to improve upon the 2022 collective budget miss of $6 million.

Let’s get it right this time by correctly executing the plan and the budget, starting with a forensic audit that looks at it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Randy Bright


Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]