School District Gets Clean Audit

WINNSBORO (Dec. 25, 2015) – A representative from the Fairfield County School District’s accounting firm, McAbee, Schwartz, Halliday & Co., presented the highlights of the District’s 2015 audit during the board’s regular meeting on Nov. 17.

In a communication letter to the board, the auditors stated that they found the board’s financial records to be free of material misstatement and gave the Fairfield County School District an unqualified opinion.

However, when Board member Annie McDaniel (District 4) asked the audit firm’s representative whether there was a management letter, he replied that one was not needed since any adjustments to the financial records were minimal and were corrected during the audit.

The highlights of the 2015 financial statement include:

• An increase in the general fund balance of $2.5 million (reflected after the board transferred $2.25 million into capital projects last month), compared to an increase of about $800,000 the previous year, with a resulting general fund balance of $9,260,000.

• A 9.2 percent increase in government revenues, for a total of $51.8 million.

• An increase of 30.37 percent in expenditures from government funds, for a total of $57.1 million, fueled by $12.3 million in capital projects and $0.7 million in expenditures of EIA revenue.

• Overall, the total liabilities and deferred inflows of the school district exceeded its assets and deferred outflows by approximately $4.4 million. Likewise, the district’s net position decreased by about $36.1 million in FY 2015. This was primarily due to an increase in bond liabilities ($12.5 million) and net pension liability ($43.7 million), which were offset by increases in funds due from the County Treasurer and capital assets.

As explained by the auditor, this change in the district’s net position was due to the imposition of new accounting rules, which require the school district to report its share of the net pension liability for the entire State government.

The auditor also commended the district for its strong general fund balance of $9.26 million, saying there are several advantages to maintaining this, such as improved cash flows, less impact from budget cuts and better bond rating.

The savings in the food service account that was discussed during the October board meeting was clarified by the audit. One reason given in October for a positive general fund balance was that $300,000 did not have to be transferred from the general fund into the food services program as had been anticipated, due to positive operations in the food service program.

According to the audit, those positive operations resulted primarily from the District’s food program receiving almost $400,000 more in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for school lunches in FY 2015. With the $400,000 increased federal revenue and a reduction in food service expenditures of $7,000, there was an overall $122,000 surplus, which allowed the District to retain the $300,000 within the general fund balance.


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