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State law permits volunteer fire relief associations with assets and liabilities of less than $500,000 to submit certified, rather than audited, financial statements to the Office of the State Auditor. The certification must be signed by an independent public accountant or auditor, or by the auditor or accountant who regularly examines or audits the financial transactions of the municipality. The independent accountant or auditor must have at least five years of public accounting, auditing, or similar experience, and must not be an active, inactive, or retired member of the relief association or the fire or police department.

In addition to certifying the financial condition of the special and general funds, the accountant or auditor must give an opinion as to the condition of the special and general funds and comment upon any exceptions to the financial report. The certified financial statements must be countersigned by the municipal clerk or clerk-treasurer, presented to the city council, and kept on file in the relief association’s office for public inspection. The financial reporting form must also be submitted to the Office of the State Auditor.

The relevant statute is Minn. Stat. § 69.051.

Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 12/20/2013

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