State Auditor's E-Update - 9/17/2021

1. Message from Auditor Blaha

2. Reminder: Sign Up for Electronic Fund Transfer Payments

3. Reminder: TIF Excess Increment Deadline

4. Pension: Municipal Trustees

5. Avoiding Pitfall: Consolidation of Cash Collection Points

1. Message from Auditor Blaha

The results are in! You may remember our contest to guess the number of beans in my latest Minnesota State Fair crop art piece. There are 12,219 beans that make up the design (see below). Congratulations to William Sou who guessed the closest. 11,874 beans.

The top five guesses were within ten percent of the actual number:

  • William Sou - 11,874
  • Amy Mell - 12,576
  • James Slegers - 11,842
  • Nicholas Rolstad - 11,842
  • Larry Moe - 13,333

Not surprisingly, most guesses were on the low side. Guesses ranged from 322 to 45,000, with an average guess of 10,041 (not proving the theory that the average estimate will be closer than any individual estimate). Thank you to all 45 participants -- we hope you had fun and look forward to next year's competition at the Minnesota State Fair.

2. Reminder: Report Change of Officers

Some local governments receive multiple Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) payments from the State. The payments are generated by Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB). Each local government can log into MMB’s website to view EFT payment information. Local governments can also sign up for e-mail alerts indicating when payments are made, the amounts, and the type of payment.

If you have not signed up for EFT payments and email notifications, please do so and save yourself some time. To sign up, please send an email to or call 651-201-8106. You can also view this information on the MMB website.

There are many benefits to receiving electronic fund payments from the State, including assuring that checks do not get lost or that you will not have to go out in a snowstorm to pick up or deposit a check. EFT’s also eliminate the confusion over which year a deposit should be recorded.

3. Reminder: TIF Excess Increment Deadline

If a TIF district had excess increment calculated for 2020 it must be used for allowable purposes or returned to the county auditor by September 30th.

For more information, please see our article, Excess Increment Deadline Reminder.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

4. Pension: Municipal Trustees

A volunteer fire relief association must be managed by a board of trustees. The board consists of nine members: six trustees elected from the relief association’s membership, and three trustees from the municipality or municipalities. The municipal trustees for a relief association affiliated with a city or town fire department are the fire chief, one elected municipal official, and one elected or appointed municipal official.

The municipal governing body designates the elected municipal official and the elected or appointed municipal official who serve as trustees, and their terms are for one year. A municipal trustee has all the rights and duties of any other trustee, except the right to be an officer of the relief association board of trustees. All trustees, including the three municipal trustees, are fiduciaries.

For additional information, see the Office of the State Auditor’s Statement of Position on relief association governance.

5. Avoiding Pitfall: Consolidation of Cash Collection Points

Public entities should review their policies for where cash is collected. Entities should specifically review whether it is necessary for money to be collected by individual departments or divisions. It may be more appropriate for all funds to be collected at one central location, where internal control procedures (checks and balances) are fully implemented.

If an entity has multiple cash collection points, each collection point – even those that handle a small volume of cash – must implement basic internal control procedures, such as segregation of duties, the use of pre-numbered receipts, and regular (preferably daily) deposits.

This Avoiding Pitfall is available on our website.