Audit committees in Tennessee counties are something relatively new. Since the Resolution passed by our Cannon County's Board of Commissioners in 2011, the Cannon County Audit Committee (CCAC) has continually searched for training specific to audit committees that would benefit them and have had very little luck doing so. Most of the knowledge that has been gained by the Committee has been acquired by researching the State of Tennessee websites, quizzing County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), contacting other audit committees and brainstorming among themselves. In its first year of existence, CCAC formally requested to CTAS that audit committee-related courses be developed to assist them and future audit committees.
CTAS recently created a County Financial Issues course for 2014. The last session available for the Middle Tennessee District was conducted in Cookeville, Tennessee on Friday March 7th. CCAC Chairman, Glenn Steakley, thought that this might be as close to what the Audit Committee has been looking for. So, he decided to attend this session. Spot on!
Topics included auditing, audit committees, debt management, capital budgeting, budget management, revenues, purchasing and education. There was plenty of group discussion by attending representatives of Middle Tennessee counties and how they approached these basic financial issues. This essential information acquired by Steakley will be shared with the other members of the Cannon County Audit Committee to better address Cannon County's financial issues.
During the audit committee segment of the class, Ben Rodgers, Cannon County's CTAS representative, spotlighted the CCAC and what has been accomplished by the group in only two years. Rodgers pointed out that he and others had reached out to the CCAC for information in the startup of other audit committees. There were counties in attendance that had been given a copy of CCAC's Standard Operating Procedures. Rodgers wrapped up the highlight by telling attending officials if they had questions regarding audit committees, "… get with Cannon County."
Diane Hickman, of the Cannon County Executive's office, attended this same session in Murfreesboro, Tennessee a couple weeks earlier.