Kouga has become one of the first municipalities in South Africa to successfully switch over to the new municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (mSCOA) and achieve an unqualified audit while doing so.
The good news was shared by Kouga Finance Portfolio Councillor Brenton Williams this week. “The switch-over to mSCOA was no easy task. Many municipalities were unable to comply fully with the new standards in the 2017/2018 year.
“The fact that Kouga was able to implement it successfully is a great achievement. For us to receive an unqualified audit despite the transition to mSCOA speaks to the calibre of staff we have.
“It is a feather in the cap of our officials and I wish to congratulate and thank them for the hard work and all-nighters they put in to pull it off,” he said.
An unqualified audit is the second highest audit opinion a municipality can achieve and is confirmation that Kouga’s financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the municipality as at 30 June 2018, and its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended” in accordance with all relevant legislation.
The only opinion higher than an unqualified audit is a clean audit, which contains no emphasis of matter.
“Kouga’s emphasis of matter was minimal, which bodes well for our endeavours to achieve a clean audit,” Williams said.
“Despite our water and electricity losses being one of the matters emphasised by the AG, we were pleased to note that the we were able to cut back on these losses during the year under review. This saved the municipality about R11-million when compared to the previous financial year.”
He said the audit report further highlighted areas in need of improvement, most notably, the performance management system and related controls.
“Kouga’s performance management system was basically non-existent when the new Council came into power.
“While we have strengthened the system over the past two years, more needs to be done so as to ensure the processes for the collection, collation, verification and capturing of performance information are valid, accurate and complete reporting against planned objectives and are clearly defined,” he said.
“We remain determined to be the best-run municipality in South Africa.
The 2017/2018 audit report is a big step in the right direction and will guide us when it comes to implementing further improvements to take Kouga to the top.”