Atlas Township audit: ‘healthy’ fund balance

By David Fleet
Atlas Twp.– Ryan King, a CPA for King & King, presented the annual financial statements and auditor’s report for the township’s fiscal year ending March 31, 2021 at Monday’s board of trustees meeting.
According to the audit, for the fiscal year 2020-21 the general fund revenues of about $1,455,549 was up slightly from the 2019-20 fiscal year with expenditures of about $1,254,143 down $846,820 due to the budgeted township offices building project completed in 2019.
“A year ago right now we were expecting a 30 percent drop in your state shared revenue (due to the pandemic),” said King. “Last year (shared revenue) was $549,578 this year it was $556,563. The revenue went up a little bit. That was an unexpected turn to this last year.”
State shared revenue included individual income tax, state sales tax along with other taxes.

The township funded a redesign of the office interior, including expanding the building by about 3,000 square feet to about 7,500 square feet. The two bay garage area, once home to a township fire truck, was converted into office space—adding about 640 square feet to the building. The sheriff deputy area is now larger and includes a locker room to change. Additional spray in insulation was used on the roof area. The kitchen includes a 490 square feet addition, for the new community board room. The existing board room was converted into a conference area and storage rooms. The project was completed in the fall of 2019.
As a result, the general unassigned fund balance increased from $2,015,625 to $2,469,828 a total of $337,656, according to the audit.
“The Michigan Townships Association and the State of Michigan both would say a healthy fund balance is defined as 25 percent of your current year revenue,” said King. “(for Atlas Township) about $750,000 is what would be considered a healthy fund balance. And (Atlas Township) has $2.4 million. That’s a long answer to say you’re doing fine. And this is on the heels of a $900,000 project to renovate the township hall. So you are doing a good job. For your geographical location, for the volume of consticuites and population size you are sitting at a healthy fund balance.”
The fund balance represents the surplus that the township may have. It is the excess of the township assets above its liabilities (what the district owns minus what it owes). While cash is an asset, it’s only one of many of an institution’s assets. Others include: accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, supplies, equipment and buildings.
The increase in general fund balance comes after the first decrease since 2017. Over that time the fund balance had grown from $1,164,467 in 2016 to $2,469,828 in 2021.
The police fund operating expenses have increased from just under $550,000 in 2014 to about $616,657 in 2021.

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