Central audit reveals needed improvements

INDEPENDENCE — The Central School District board of directors learned the district has a few things to work on when it comes to its finances, but Business Manager Cec Koontz said most of them have already been addressed.

The audit was presented at the Jan. 8 board meeting.

The findings of Boldt Carlisle and Smith, certified public accountants who conducted the district’s annual audit, found that the district missed the mark in 2017 by not publishing a notice of the budget committee meeting at least twice five to 30 days before the scheduled budget committee meeting, as required by ORS 294.401.

Koontz said this was caused by changes in staffing, and it has been fixed, so shouldn’t happen again.

Another finding showed the district spent $49,812 more than it had budgeted in the general instruction fund, prohibited by ORS 294.435. The district had issued a supplemental budget for that money, but the representative from Boldt Carlisle and Smith said supplemental budgets are for unexpected revenue, not meant for miscalculations.

Koontz said the district cash basis of accounting means that sometimes large expenses may be budgeted in one year, ordered in June of that year, and not billed and paid until the following fiscal year.

“In the past, the district adjusted for that in the following fiscal year budget,” Koontz said in her audit comments corrective action plan. “During the course of this audit, that practice was deemed to be not in compliance, and the budget adjustment was disallowed, creating the variance.”

She said the district has changed practices to make sure the excess expenditure does not happen again.

Other things the district is working on to comply with the recommendations of the audit include adding a third person to review eligibility of students on free or reduced meals; and trying to further segregate duties in the payroll department.

Superintendent Jennifer Kubista said she was not concerned by the findings, noting the changes in personnel in the district office making a learning curve. She said she would be more worried if the accountants had found nothing wrong with their books.

Koontz said the process was educational, and she viewed the information as a way to improve the processes used by the district.

To view the audit or budget document: central.k12.or.us.

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