School system audit once again reports no findings

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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For the third year in a row, the Elizabethton City School system has had an audit completed that returned no findings for the past fiscal year.
In an audit of the system’s financial documents for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, Blackburn, Childers and Stegall found no deficiencies or noncompliances for the system, and the system was found to be a low-risk auditee.
The system has had a track record of producing good audit results each year. Finance Director Beth Wilson said that since the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the system has only had one audit finding, which was on the 2010-2011 audit.
Superintendent of Schools Ed Alexander said the audit results showed the hard work of the system’s staff.
“It is the hard work and the integrity of the finance department that comes through in these results,” Alexander said. “I hope the public sees that we are using their money responsibly and in a way that they should be proud of.”
Wilson agreed the good audit findings were the result of the efforts of all the finance department staff.
“It does take a lot of hard work,” she said. “It takes following the proper procedures and internal controls to have the oversight and the compliance needed.”
Wilson continued that it took then entire department working together for the benefit of the staff to achieve the good financial standing in the system.
“It is a good department,” she said. “It is everyone working together. They are dedicated to their positions. They work hard and are dedicated to providing support for the teachers and the staff so they can focus on teaching and not worrying about other things.”
According to the audit, total general purpose fund balance decreased by $22,100, and the school nutrition increased by $2,764.
The system had total assets of $25,183,698, up from last year’s $20,070,988. Total liabilities increased to $3,837,791 from $3,280,824 last year.
The total cost of all programs and services rose 3.5% to $23.3 million. The board’s expenses are most related to instruction and support services for educators, making up 93.2 percent of total costs.
By the end of 2013, the ECS had invested $15 million in a broad range of capital assets, including school buildings, athletic facilities, computer equipment, and school vehicles, mainly buses. This amount represents an increase of $355,206 or 2.4% from last year.
The Board’s 2014 capital expenditures consisted of the construction of new athletic fields at T.A. Dugger Junior High School, the start of construction of the new stadium and music room at Elizabethton High School, three new 66-passenger buses, a new EMT simulator for EHS, a new dishwasher for West Side Elementary and a new boiler at TAD.
The audit also detailed factors that could impact the future of the school system and the school board.
These included implementing the Community Eligibility Program at all three elementary schools, ensuring students and teacher meet new Common Core requirements, increasing career technical education courses, providing for the safety and security of students, moving forward with the capital projects at EHS and providing junior high and high school students with academic intervention.
While there were no findings for the main financial statements in the school system. There were some findings for the school activity fund statements.
The audit presented findings relating to fundraisers, cash disbursement procedures and donations.
Wilson explained these issues were a matter of “timing” and required better documentation from the nonbookkeeping staff that were involved with the events.

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