Harford County Earns Clean Audit, Highest Possible Opinion for Financial Reporting

Independent auditors issued a clean opinion on Harford County’s annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.

Harford County SealThe clean audit opinion of the County’s fiscal 2023 annual comprehensive financial report (ACFR), issued by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, means that the financial statements are accurate and contain no material misstatements. The auditors had no management comments or findings.

It also means the ACFR was presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and the requirements of the Government Standards Accounting Board. Required by state and local laws, the ACFR – formerly known as CAFR – is an overall assessment of the County’s financial position, including revenues, expenses, debt, investment performance, and pensions.

“I am proud that external auditors recognized my administration’s commitment to accuracy and transparency in financial reporting,” County Executive Bob Cassilly said. “I would like to thank Harford County Treasurer Robbie Sandlass and his team, as well as my entire leadership team, for achieving this highest possible opinion from independent professionals at one of the nation’s top accounting firms.”

The fiscal 2023 ACFR is available on the Harford County website.

Harford County closes fiscal 2023 with a $6.6M available fund balance on a $760M operating budget. Revenues and expenses are in line with official estimates.

After accounting for all general fund revenues and expenditures, this audited fund balance was remarkably close to the $4.4 million fund balance forecast made this past spring by County officials and Harford’s all-volunteer Spending Affordability Committee.

The difference in forecast versus actual, as a percentage of the budget, was less than 0.3 percent despite the forecast being made with approximately three months remaining in the fiscal year and nearly half of the income tax, the largest revenue source, still to be realized.

Harford’s total general fund balance for fiscal 2023 was $174.9 million. Of this amount, $168.3 million was appropriated to the current fiscal 2024 operating budget and other obligations, leaving the available balance of $6.6 million. The fiscal 2023 fund balance is down significantly from fiscal 2022 when the general fund balance was $211.3 million and the available fund balance was $34.8 million.

“It may not be widely understood that Harford County government has to estimate our annual revenue from income and property taxes months before the start of each fiscal year and work throughout the year to keep expenses in line,” said County Executive Bob Cassilly.

“This great uncertainty, along with economic unpredictability, affirms our cautious, conservative approach to budgeting moving forward. I thank Treasurer Robbie Sandlass, Budget Chief Kim Spence and their teams, and our Spending Affordability Committee for their continued proficiency in forecasting and budget management.”

The audited fiscal 2023 financial report is posted on the Harford County website.

Click here to view Harford County’s fund balance forecast in the approved operating budget.