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District earns ‘clean audit’

Perham-The Perham-Dent School District's accounting of its finances, reviewed by an auditing company, is in compliance with general accounting practices and no major infractions were identified, according to Matt Laughlin with Brady Martz Certifi...

Perham-The Perham-Dent School District’s accounting of its finances, reviewed by an auditing company, is in compliance with general accounting practices and no major infractions were identified, according to Matt Laughlin with Brady Martz Certified Public Accounts and Consultants, who presented the report at last Wednesday’s school board meeting.

The report was clear that the CPA firm was not providing an opinion of the accounting practices of the school district, but that the audit process found “no instances of non-compliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.”

“It was a clean audit,” said Kristi Werner, school district business manager, adding “(the audit) showed that all our practices are good.”

The school district budgeted revenues of $13,848,615 for this school year, which ended in June.  Actual revenue was $14,118,612 with expenses coming in at $13,998,223, leaving a $120,389 positive balance. Other financing sources added another $164,027, leaving a fund balance of 284,416 in the General Fund.

Laughlin noted that the school district’s unrestricted funds were at 8 percent, less than the consultant’s recommended 15 to 20 percent, and had dropped significantly from 13 percent since the last auditing period. The unrestricted fund is an emergency fund, or safety net,  that districts keep in reserve.  The school board authorized the district to use some of the reserve for  technology upgrades.

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“It was not accidently spent down,” Werner said. “It was a planned spend down by the board.”

Through conservative budgeting and as enrollment increases, the fund will be rebuilt, she said.

A separate audit was conducted on the food service fund, or the free and reduced lunch program, Laughlin told the school board.  Of the 395 applications submitted for the program, auditors selected 40 to review. There were two instances where other income was not reported on the form, which would have made the students ineligible for free or reduced meals. The audit recommended the District review its policy and procedures for calculating eligibility, which the district said it would do.

“Two out of 395 applications were processed incorrectly, which was probably due to human error,” Werner said.

The school board approved the report.

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