County schools’ audit shows ‘no material weaknesses’
by Mark Andrews
Mar 13, 2013 | 942 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bartow County Board of Eduction’s recent audit by Williamson and Co. CPA’s of Cartersville returned no material weaknesses — a positive that Chief Financial Advisor Todd Hooper said hasn’t occurred in previous years.

“I’m proud to tell you there are no findings ... I don’t recall from anything I’ve seen that we’ve ever had a report without any findings, so that is great news,” Hooper said during Monday’s work session. “I commend the many employees of our school system who work all year long within the regulations, rules and guidelines of our financial operating system to make this happen.

“The principals’ oversight of school activity funds, bookkeepers performed their duties in a timely manner, purchasing, curriculum, maintenance and transportation all made large purchases within the bidding guidelines. Teachers even have to have approval prior to their purchases. [The nutrition director], along with nutrition staff, follow federal guidelines in their financial operations, along with others who have contributed to their success.”

He added, “An audit report like this does not just happen from getting debits and credits correct, it also reflects employee respect for the financial processes that are performed daily.”

Lloyd Williamson, of Williamson and Co., spoke on the audit during the meeting.

“During the process of the audit, we’re always conversing with Todd’s staff and ... it didn’t mean we didn’t find anything, we had some recommendations and we’ve talked about that, but nothing material was found,” Williamson said. “... A material weakness could be, like you’ve had in the past, some items were missed on vouching of invoices, you weren’t getting approval, you would find a number of those things that would be [considered] a material weakness. We found no indication of that.

“We pull a lot of invoices just checking for procedures, are they being followed, and we found no instance of procedures not being followed throughout the system.”

Superintendent John Harper said he was pleased with the results of the audit.

“Todd Hooper and staff worked really hard to put in some controls over the last couple of years, and that’s the audit for the entire school system — the accounts the principals have at their schools as well as [the board of education’s audit], so that’s really very significant because some of those schools handle a lot of those transactions every day because we have a bookkeeper out at those schools, so for that to occur, I’ve not yet worked with a school system where that has happened,” Harper said. “It’s fantastic.”

Despite a successful audit, Hooper said the system still is expecting some financial shortfalls, according to Gov. Nathan Deal’s supplemental FY13 budget.

“... We were notified that the board’s share of certified health insurance premiums would increase for certified staff. It would go from $914 per month to $937 per month,” Hooper said. “That doesn’t sound like much for the remainder of the year, but it amounts to $90,000, roughly.”

He added, “That’s about a teacher and a half, if you were to put a face on it. These are not just numbers, these are faces at this point.”

Harper said a proposed budget for FY14 likely will be presented to the board next month.

“Probably what will happen is [the public] will see it [at an April board of education meeting] just like [the school board] will,” Harper said. “There’s really not a lot to talk about as far as where we’re going to cut or what we’re going to do. We’re going to look at our [full-time equivalent] numbers and figure out what our student population will support as far as staff. We’ve worked along using some reserve funds for the last few years, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

He added, “I doubt we’re going to have a retreat this year. There’s really just not a whole lot to talk about.”