Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Van Buren Schools audit of financial statement earns high marks

New Van Buren Public Schools Finance Director Sara Cortese received high marks on her first audit for the district.
During the Nov. 11 meeting of the members of the board of education, Laura Payne of Taylor & Morgan CPAs and Business Advisors, complimented the district on the audit noting that the audit received an unmodified audit opinion, the highest level of assurance possible for a financial statement. Payne made the comments by cell phone as the inclement weather prevented her from traveling to the meeting.
Payne noted that despite changes in the district business office, the staff prepared a clean audit.

“You have a great strength in your business office now, because you have a trained staff,” Payne said.
Board member Amy Pierce and board President Keith Johnston congratulated Cortese and her staff on the audit and members of the audience clapped in appreciation.
According to the audit, the General Fund balance increased $794,245 from $7,972,611 on June 30, 2018 to $8,766,856 on June 30, 2019. The June 30, 2019 ending fund balance of $8,766,856 is 15.38 percent of expenditures.
This fund balance would fund the district for 30 to 45 days based on a 180-day school year.
The number of students counted for September state aid membership in 2018-19 was 4,619, the lowest since the total of 5,030 students for the 2014-15 school year, according to the audit presentation. Funding from the state, determined by the foundation allowance times each student counted, came to $8,004 per student in the 2018-19 school year, up from $7,422 in the 2014-15 school year.
Payne said that the $794,245 added to the fund balance last fiscal year showed that revenues exceeded expenditures.
The Food Service fund balance was $654,756, $30,000 more than expenditures in the department. The Athletic Department, which the state merged with the general fund a few years ago, had expenditures of some $640,000, with about $400,000 coming from a general fund contribution and $150,000 from department revenues, according to the audit numbers.