When Accountants Dummy Up Actuaries’ Numbers

Union County paid Brown & Brown $20,000 to do a GASB 45 valuation for 2007 and the accountants have been using that report ever since.

The 2013 audit is now out and after I pointed out how comical the 2012 OPEB numbers were:

Note 15 on OPEBs changed considerably this time. No interceding actuarial valuation seems to have been done so the accountants were left to their own devices and this is what they came up with.

Two new tables were added but to mask their subterfuge they do not compare 2012 to 2013.  Instead they have columns for 2007 (the first OPEB year) along with 2011 and 2013 and glancing over their try they may have come out with  numbers more bogus than the actuaries.

GASB rules forced Union County to do an OPEB valuation beginning in 2007 and the report they got included a spreadsheet of projections that they used through 2012 as if those projections were EXACTLY realized. For example, the county asserts that they have $22,995,000 in assets as of 12/31/12 because that was what Brown & Brown projected there would be back in 2009 based on 2007 data. However, the one number that the county accountants were not pulling off the Brown & Brown spreadsheet was the Net OPEB Obligation (NOO) which was projected to be $211,117,000 as of 12/31/12 but in the relevant page from the 2012 audit the NOO is reported as being $35,263,000, which happens to be the one-year difference between what was projected to be the ARC and what was projected to be the OPEB cost for the year in that 2009 Brown & Brown report.

What the accountants came up with in 2013 might be even funnier. There are at least four instances of obvious nonsensical numbers (including typos that nobody picked up on) and only some of the numbers in the 2007 column have any backup from the Brown & Brown report.  For all anybody knows these numbers could have come right from a phone book.  What do you think?  Below are picture files of those two pages.


opeb13 -2

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Javagold on October 11, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Monkeys in front of a calculator just punching numbers……absolutely meaningless……this ship is going down in 2015


  2. Posted by Anonymous on October 12, 2014 at 12:34 am

    You will have bad luck for criticizing monkeys


  3. Posted by bpaterson on October 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    JB1- what is that line 12 “annual OPEB cost” on the second spreadsht? totals $588 million in 2013 up from $42 million. Huge jump. Is something due and being refi?


    • Nothing as complicated as that. That’s one of the typos. Annual OPEB cost is reported for 2013 to be $58,822,364 in item 10 and $588,223,364 in item 12. It’s the silliest of errors but, oddly enough, it may be a correct number if they ever get to doing a real GASB 45 valuation.


      • Posted by Tough Love on October 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm

        It’s astonishing how little “accountability” (and consequences for poor performance) there is are in gov’t employment.


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