[NSD] – Is a flawless annual audit of a public agency newsworthy? In these economic and political times, with a perpetual state budget crisis, federal bail outs, and state funding “flexibility,” the accounting and business functions of public schools are more stressed than ever. Stories of misuse of public funds are rampant. City spending has been subject to scrutiny and charter schools most often fail because of sloppy finances and weak fiscal management. So keeping track of the public’s dollars is even more important than ever.
Annual audits of the funds entrusted to a school district are one way the public can verify the proper use and tracking of the taxpayers’ dollars. Newhall School District’s annual analysis states, “This financial report is designed to provide our citizens, taxpayers, students, and investors and creditors with a general overview of the District’s finances and to show the District’s accountability for the money it receives.”
While the fiscal year ends June 30, school districts close their books sometime in August and an outside auditing team examines them in the fall. The results are then presented to the Governing Board of the district. The annual audit for the Newhall School District is scheduled for board review Jan. 24. The audit reviews 2010-2011 revenue and budgeting and the long term debts and obligations of the school district.
Reviewing all assets and liabilities, budgeting and fund management, the audit is designed to assess the financial health of the district. The CPA firm of Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co. found no difficulties in performing the audit or disagreements with management. There were no “Audit Findings” or “Questioned Costs” in the audit report.
For the last seven years the Newhall School District has received similar flawless audits from an outside auditing firm.
“We have excellent business department staff members who meticulously track payroll, attendance, and every dollar from state, federal, and local sources,” said Michael Clear, assistant superintendent of business for the 7,000 student district. “The audit is their big end-of-year test and they got an ‘A+’ again this year.”
“The Board is constantly reviewing the district’s budget, fiscal health and priorities,” said Christy Smith, president of the school board. “We know our Business Department provides accurate and timely information to us and we trust their work. But it is important to verify their work every year with the auditors’ Annual Financial Report and, once again, we found that our trust in our department is warranted.”