Shawano School District passes audit

Two deficiencies found while examining financial records
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano School District passed its 2019 audit with flying colors, the Shawano School Board learned this week.

Leah Lasecki, manager for Clifton Larson Allen LLP, presented the board with what she called a “clean” audit, with only two significant deficiencies found while she and her staff conducted the audit during the summer.

“That (clean audit) is the best that you can get in the industry,” Lasecki said.

One of the deficiencies was in the preparation of the annual financial report, and the other was adjustments to the district’s financial records. Lasecki noted that the preparation of the annual financial report comes up as a deficiency on 95% of the audits she does because of the ever-changing accounting standards.

“Don’t look at that as a negative thing,” Lasecki said. “It’s, unfortunately, a risk.”

Lasecki said that the adjustments to the district’s financial records were an issue with the previous year’s audit, as well.

“I expect that, over time, this is going to go away,” Lasecki said. “There are 15 journal entries (where errors were found), so we hope to cut that in half this next year.”

Lasecki said that during the audit, her agency checks for compliance with state and federal funding programs, although the same programs aren’t checked every year. She noted that 2019 was a heavy compliance year for the district, with checks on Title I and federal special education funding among the items examined.

“When we come in, we ask a ton of questions like, ‘How do you process this transaction or that transaction?’” Lasecki said. “If we detect holes, by our auditing standards, we have to report those back to you guys.”

Lasecki complimented the way the district has managed its finances. Her report noted that the ending fund balance was more than $160,000 higher than the ending balance for 2018. The fund balance sits at just under $7.6 million, which represents about 24.8% of the district’s expenditures. Lasecki said the balance usually needs to sit between 20% and 25% in order for a district to function without short-term borrowing while it waits for state aid payments.

Lasecki also reported that the district’s revenues for the 2018-19 school year were about 1.39% higher, more than $416,000, than budgets, while expenditures were $56,921 less than budgets, about 0.1%.