By Cole Parkinson
With 2020 over, Vauxhall town council has been able to review their 2020 audited financial statements.
Councillors were presented with their audited financial statements ending on Dec. 31, 2020, at their regular meeting on April, 19.
“In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly in all material respects, the financial position of the town as of December 31, 2020. So that is in fact a clean audit report and we’re saying our opinion is we don’t see any issues through our audit and we don’t see any concerns,” explained Patrick Treadwell of MWG Chartered Professional Accountants. “We go through and assess the statements and document if there are any issues we notice. We look at your internal controls and see how relevant they are in accordance to the audit. We evaluate your county policies, so we can test those and then we conclude on your going concern. A going concern is just any reasons the town would have to shut down in the next 12 months.”
Treadwell also went into more detail on the 2020 audit.
Overall, he said revenues stayed similar to 2019 and expenditures decreased by a fairly large margin.
“This is a snapshot for how 2020 was for you guys — revenues and expenses-wise. We can see here your total revenue stayed fairly similar, which is pretty good considering COVID and everything. A couple of variances here — property taxes stayed similar, user fees they increased from the prior year but down from the budget. There were pool closures and such but with water and utilities, COVID didn’t really affect that, so it stayed fairly similar. The other big revenues — you did increase with donations you received for the clock tower and that was $75,000, I believe,” he said. “Our expenditures decreased by about $200,000, which can be traced mostly to the $100,000 decrease in your parks and rec expenses. That is tied mostly to less wages, less contracted services paid for, pool, arena, curling rink, stuff like that. Bylaw enforcement was another one as a bylaw officer wasn’t there in 2020. Everything else was normal increases and decreases.”
Revenues were up to $2,592,619 in 2020 compared to $2,452,718, and expenditures were down to $2,544,647 in 2020 while they sat at $2,728,349 in 2019.
That left the town with an excess of revenue over expenditures of $47,972 compared to a shortfall of $275,631 the prior year. Treadwell also touched on government transfers for capital.
“This is all Federal Gas Tax Fund, MSI capital that you received and spent on capital assets. That will be shown in the statement of financial position and in the end for 2020, you see we have a net income of $330,000.”
Financial assets totalled $2,915,045 for 2020, which was down from $3,526,112 in 2019. Total liabilities were up slightly to $2,235,834 compared to $1,981,373 in 2019.
“This is a snapshot of how your assets and liabilities looked as of December 31, 2020. You see cash went down slightly, and that’s offset by your large increase to your GICs (guaranteed investment certificate). There was some changes with your receivables. This is your grant receivables and that is kind of tied into your deferred grants that we have. The increase here of deferred and the decrease of receivables, that ties into your GICs. So that is about the grants we have received but we have yet to spend on approved projects.”
Cash totalled $384,411 in 2020, which was down from $537,385 in 2019.
“In the end, we increased our net financial assets to about $1.2 million, which is a pretty healthy situation for you guys to be in,” added Treadwell.
In 2019, net financial assets were under $1 million at $933,672.
The town’s accumulated surplus for 2020 sat at $8,442,446.
“We see that your restricted surplus, we increased it. We restricted about $90,000 this year and used about $40,000 for tangible capital assets. We had a slight change in our tangible capital assets which is based on your current additions and it about $400,000. That’s almost net to your current amortization and your non-cash of about $450,000,” added Treadwell.
Town administration also explained their restricted reserves.
“Our opening of our restricted reserves was $1,221,919,” stated CFO Wendy Bergen.
It was stated there was also a sale of a street sweeper and purchases of a pickup truck ($32,306) and purchased water metre reader ($6,244).
“That leaves us with $1,272,068 in our restricted reserves,” said Bergen.
A motion to approve 2020 reserve transfers as presented was carried unanimously. Another motion to approve 2020 financial statements as presented was also carried unanimously.