Town earns favorable audit report

Town of Wake Forest News

During its normal monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Board of Commissioners received the results of an independent audit report from Cherry Bekaert LLP for the period July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

In addition to not revealing any audit findings or problems, the report acknowledged that the Town is in compliance with all of its financial policies and operating with strong internal controls in place.

The report also included several financial performance highlights:

  • Net change in the Town’s fund balance resulted in an increase of $1.6 million in the general fund;

  • Wake Forest collected 99.86% of its property taxes – its highest rate over the past 10 years and higher than the average rate of 98.25 percent for towns of similar size;

  • The Town’s property tax base was $4.7 billion on June 30, 2017, compared to $4.5 billion at the same time last year

  • Property tax collections were $24.5 million – $1 million more than last year;

  • The electric fund enjoyed an increase in net position (total revenues over expenses) of $660,000;

  • Wake Forest has a total outstanding debt of $24.6 million, which is substantially less than the applicable state-mandated limit of $43.1 million. Also, the percentage of the debt compared to the tax valuation is 0.92 percent, less than the Town’s policy of two percent or the state’s statute which is eight percent.

In addition, for the 27th consecutive year, Wake Forest received the Certificate for Achievement of Excellence in Financial Reporting.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Aileen Staples said the favorable audit report is the result of a “team approach” and the Town’s “conservative fiscal philosophy.”

“We continue to be financially sound due to the collaborative efforts of the Board, Town Manager, Department Directors and staff,” she said. “In addition, as an organization, we are fiscally conservative with our revenue and expenditure projections. This report confirms that our approach is working, while reaffirming that we continue to be responsible stewards of the Town’s resources.”

Staples also acknowledged the work of Assistant Finance Director Antwan Morrison.

“Antwan has done an incredible job coordinating the audit process and writing the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,” she said. “We are extremely fortunate to have him leading this effort.”

To view the 2016-17 CAFR, visit and search “CAFR.”

For more information, contact CFO Aileen Staples at 919-435-9461 or

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