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Reports & Audits


Annual Reports


What is an Annual Report?

Section 5. Annual Reporting and Work Plan
(See M.S. Chapter 103D.351 and Minnesota Rules 8410.0150 for more information)

All Watershed Districts must prepare a yearly report of the financial conditions of the Watershed District, the status of all projects, the business transacted by the Watershed District and other matters affecting the interests of the Watershed District. In addition, the work plan for the next year must be included. A work plan designates program categories and work tasks or projects within each category each fiscal year.

Copies of the report must be provided to the BWSR, the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and the director of the Division of Waters of the Department of Natural Resources. In addition, each Watershed District must have a yearly audit of its books completed by the state auditor or a public accountant.

Metropolitan area Watershed Districts' annual reports must have financial, activity and audit reports.

The annual financial report must contain:

The annual activity report must contain:




Annual Audits


What is an Audit?

The managers of a Watershed District must have an annual audit completed of the books and accounts of the Watershed District. The annual audit may be made by a public accountant or by the state auditor.

The annual audit must be made by a certified public accountant or the state auditor at least once every five years, or when cumulative District revenues or expenditures exceed a specified amount set by the BWSR in consultation with the state auditor.

Requirements for an Audit
(M.S. Chapter 103D.355, 6.54-6.55, 6.67 and 609.456)
The managers of a Watershed District must have an annual audit completed of the books and accounts of the Watershed District. The annual audit may be made by a public accountant or by the state auditor.

If the audit is made by the state auditor, the audit must be initiated by a petition of resident owners of the Watershed District or resolution of the managers of the Watershed District. The petition is guided by M.S. Chapter 6.54-6.55. The cost for the state auditor's services must be paid by the Watershed District.

If a public accountant in the process of auditing discovers evidence suggesting nonfeasance, misfeasance or malfeasance by an employee or officer of the public entity, the public accountant needs to make a prompt report to the county and state auditor per M.S. Chapter 6.67. This is also covered under M.S. Chapter 609.456.

Audits provide valuable information that helps managers make important policy decisions. Key questions should be asked of an auditor (Source: League of Minnesota (LMC) Handbook for Cities)

How is our Watershed District doing financially? The answer will be based on how close the fund balances are to the amounts planned in the budget.

Are financial statements consistent with the adopted budget? Significant variations should be identified and the reasons for the variations discussed.

What steps can our Watershed District take to improve financial operations and our financial health? Auditors may have suggestions for internal controls, and should be asked to comment on actions taken during the last fiscal year to address concerns raised in prior audits.

Are revenues generated by enterprise funds adequate to cover expenses and debt service requirements? If not, a rate adjustment may be needed.

Is the Watershed District using revenues from one fund to subsidize another? The extent and rationale for the subsidy should be examined.

Is the city relying on a revenue source that may be susceptible to change?

Are there any lawsuits or other contingencies that could affect Watershed District finances?

Watershed District Handbook, Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, November, 2005.


CLFLWD Progress Report

BWSR Performance Review

The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) supports Minnesota’s counties, watershed districts and soil and water conservation districts that deliver water and related land resource management projects and programs. In 2007 the Board set up a program (PRAP) to systematically review the performance of these local units of government to ensure their effective operation. Each year BWSR staff conduct routine reviews of several of these local conservation delivery entities. This document reports the results of one of those reviews.