In accordance with North Carolina General Statues, all funds (governmental, proprietary and fiduciary) of the County are budgeted and accounted for on a modified accrual basis. Under this basis,

  1. The county recognizes Revenues in the accounting period they become measurable and available. Property tax revenue recognized in the fiscal year when taxes levied. Grant, entitlement and donation revenue recognized in the fiscal year when eligibility requirements were satisfied.
  2. The county recognizes Expenditures in the period incurred. One exception is principal and interest on general long-term debt, claims and judgments and compensated absences, which are expenditures in the year payments are due.
  3. The county financial statements for Governmental funds use the current financial resources measurement focus.
  4. The county financial statements for Proprietary and fiduciary funds use the economic resources measurement focus and the accrual basis of accounting, except for the Agency Funds which have no measurement focus.

The county uses formal budgetary accounting as a management control for all funds. Each fiscal year, the Board of Commissioners adopts an annual budget ordinance. In addition, the Board of Commissioners adopts project budgets that cover more than one fiscal year for specific revenue and capital project funds. Examples include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and school construction.

Each department exercises budgetary control, at the line item level, with the adoption of the budget by the Board of Commissioners. The county’s fiscal year covers July 1 through June 30 of the budget year. Throughout the year, the Finance Department and the County Manager's office monitor expenditures and revenues. The Board of Commissioners, County Manager and Budget Director have authority to amend the budget during the fiscal year consistent with the adopted budget ordinance.

The County Manager’s Office and Finance Department ensure compliance with all purchasing and payment policies and procedures. The Finance Department also pre-audits all transactions to ensure compliance with the law.