BEAN STATION – For the second year in a row, the Town of Bean Station’s financial audit is more than a year overdue, causing the Town to operate without an approved budget and unable to issue debt or borrow funds.

According to John Dunn, director of communications, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, audit reports are required to be filed with the Comptroller’s office within six months of the town’s fiscal year end. The 2019-20 fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. 

Dunn said, “Because the Town has failed to file audited financial statements for fiscal year 2020, our Division of Local Government Finance has not approved the Town’s fiscal year 2022 budget. Pursuant to state law, the Town may not issue debt or financing obligations without an approved budget from our office,” Dunn said. “This is the second year in a row that we have not approved Bean Station’s budget due to a late audit.”

The Town is forbidden from taking out a loan from a bank, or issuing debt. In the event of an emergency or “desperate situation that required borrowing money” Dunn said the Town would have to appeal to the Comptroller’s Office for approval to borrow money. He said the basis for such an appeal would be “for a compelling public interest.”

Dunn said when entitles do not meet the requirement to file audit reports within six months of the fiscal year’s end, the Comptroller’s office follows up with calls, emails and/or letters. The CPA firm responsible for the audit will also submit a delinquent filing notification to the Comptroller’s office, he said. 

In the case of the Town of Bean Station, Dunn said the CPA firm had indicated “COVID-related issues had delayed field work and completion of the report.”

According to Dunn, the audit report is currently scheduled to be submitted to the Comptroller’s office by September 30.