FRANKFORT, Ky., Oct. 30, 2023 – The Kentucky Judicial Branch has received a clean audit opinion on its financial statements for Fiscal Year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) from an external auditor.
MCM CPAs & Advisors (Cherry Bekaert LLC effective Nov. 1, 2023) audited financial statements from the Administrative Office of the Courts and found that the Judicial Branch’s FY 2023 financial statements were free of material misstatements and contained no material findings. See the report at kcoj.info/auditFY2023.
The firm found that the financial statements “present fairly, in all material respects, the fund balance of the Judicial Branch, as of June 30, 2023, and the receipts, disbursements and changes in fund balance for the year then ended,” in accordance with accounting practices under state law.
“This audit affirms our commitment to accountability and maintaining best practices for financial integrity,” Chief Justice of the Commonwealth Laurance B. VanMeter said. “We are dedicated to transparency with taxpayer dollars and are pleased to share this audit with the public.”
The AOC prepared and released its first financial statements under Supreme Court Administrative Order 2019-11 in FY 2021. The 2019 order required the AOC to issue a request for proposals to conduct an annual external audit of its financial information beginning with FY 2021 and make the resulting reports public. While some portions of Order 2019-11 were amended in 2021 with Order 2021-34 and in 2022 with Order 2022-41, the external audit requirement remained the same.
In 2019, the AOC updated its organizational structure to bring its administrative and financial operations up to industry standards. As part of that change, the AOC created the independent Office of Audits, which has two divisions. The Division of Internal Audit oversees risk management and management controls, safeguarding assets, reliability of financial information and reporting, and compliance with laws and regulations. Internal Audit has conducted 17 internal audits since its formation. The Division of Audit Services is responsible for conducting annual audits of Offices of Circuit Court Clerk, master commissioners, domestic relations commissioners and Kentucky Court of Justice facilities.
Former Chief Justice John D. Minton, who retired in 2022, established an Audit Oversight Committee with internal and external members to review matters related to the Office of Audits.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort is the operations arm of the state court system. The AOC supports the activities of nearly 3,300 court system employees and 413 elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks. As the fiscal agent for the state court system, the AOC executes the Judicial Branch budget.