Accountant says no problems in audit of Jackson School District's books

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Clean" best describes the Jackson School District's latest audit, according to an official with the accounting firm that reviewed the district's books.

"There were no adjustments whatsoever," said Darrell Songer, certified public accountant and principal at St. Louis-based Larson Allen CPAs, Consultants and Advisors. "The word for this audit is 'clean.'"

The school district has "committed itself to financial excellence for many years," the audit says. "In addition, the School District's system of financial planning, budgeting and internal financial controls are well regarded."

Total net assets topped $15.39 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, a decline of $1.74 million from the previous year, according to the audit. Wade Bartels, the district's chief financial officer, said the decline is primarily the result of spending on the high school construction project.

The nearly $8 million final phase of construction at Jackson High School is expected to be completed by late winter. In 2005, voters approved a $19.8 million bond issue to revamp the high school. Construction began in fall 2006.

On the books in the 2010 fiscal year, which ended June 30, the district appears to take a loss, but bond money from the construction plan fund made up the difference in revenue and expenditures. Total receipts were $40.93 million, and total disbursements were $42.67 million, for a $1.74 million change in net assets.

"It wasn't like we brought in less than what we expected to spend," Bartels said. The bond money to cover construction projects came in during 2005 and cannot be included in subsequent years' receipts, he said.

Last year, receipts increased $1.27 million, or 3.2 percent, from the previous fiscal year, in large part due to increased federal funding, while total disbursements declined by $3.17 million, or 6.9 percent.

More than half of the district's revenue, $20.85 million, came from local taxpayers, with the state accounting for $13.17 million, or about 32 percent.

Federal funding, boosted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, accounted for $5.5 million, or about 13 percent of the district's revenue, with the vast majority of those payments were subject to audit. That made life difficult for the school district's financial people, Songer said.

"We worked your staff very, very hard," he told the Jackson School Board on Tuesday night. "It was a demanding process."

The district spent $21.33 million on instruction in 2009-2010, making up about half of disbursements.

As of June 30, the district recorded a little more than $10 million in general obligation bonds, due in with varying interest rate charges over various maturity schedules, according to the audit. The district noted $20.93 million in leasehold revenue bonds, over 17-year maturity schedules, and $70,958 in capital leases.

mkittle@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent Address:

614 E. Adams St., Jackson MO

Comments
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: