School district gets ‘clean’ financial audit

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By Mallory Bilger

The Spencer County School District’s annual independent audit found no major compliance issues within the district’s financial statements and overall shined a positive light on the district’s procedures for handling its funds.
Independent auditor W. Gilbert Brown of Bardstown’s Brown & Company Certified Public Accountants told the board of education last Monday that, overall, the audit was very clean and “one to be proud of.”
According to the audit, the district’s net assets totaled $14,399,369.08. The district’s total revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012 were $26.5 million. Total expenses were $24,946,512, according to the  audit.
The audit addressed four components, including the district’s financial statements, the district’s internal control system, federal money spending compliance and the district’s activity funds.
Brown told the board that it was his firm’s opinion that the district’s financial statements were presented fairly. He said the district’s internal control system — which is the mechanism used by the district to insure proper procedure and legal financial reporting — had no significant deficiencies or material weaknesses.
The audit also found no issues of non-compliance with the district’s federal dollar spending or major violations regarding the district’s activity funds. Those funds exist at both Taylorsville and Spencer County Elementary, Spencer County Middle, and Spencer County High School. Brown said he personally visited each school to evaluate those accounts, speaking with each activity fund treasurer as part of the auditing process.
“I’m happy to report this evening that during our audit, we found no major violations,” he said of the activity funds.
However, the audit did include one suggestion relating to checks written from activity accounts.
“During the course of our audit, we became aware of three checks that cleared activity fund bank accounts of two of the district’s schools that did not contain two signatures. It is our recommendation that the district simply remind the bookkeepers of the activity funds, the importance of following the correct procedures . . . when issuing disbursements.”
The audit included the district’s response to the above concern, which stated that bookkeepers have been instructed to not issue any disbursements without the proper number of signatures on the checks.
Some of the district’s financial highlights noted in the audit include:
• The district’s ending cash balance in 2012 was $8,184,823.98, which included a $193,527.04 construction fund balance and a $3,833,112.60 building fund balance.
• The district purchased two new buses through a state lease program during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The district will be purchasing five new buses during the current fiscal year due to its rapidly aging fleet.
• The district invested $262,143 in technology hardware purchases during fiscal year 2012. The board also hired a technology resource consultant used by teachers and administrators to help infuse technology into the classrooms.
• The district expressed the following financial concerns for the 2013 fiscal year: Early childhood education, college and career readiness, staffing needs, competitive salaries, an aging bus fleet, increased employee benefits, instructional material needs, increased operational costs and pursuing the district’s vision for technology-based learning.
• A copy of the audit can be viewed in full at the board of education’s office on Main Street.