Webster school board receives annual audit

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Webster Parish School Board members were presented with a draft of the school system’s 2014 audit report in a special meeting Monday.

Margie Williamson, of Allen, Green and Williamson, presented the draft saying she wanted to make sure board members were given the opportunity to be aware of its contents before it was issued to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office.

Williamson said the overall report was good, but four findings raised red flags.

The school board’s financials were fairly stated and have an unmodified opinion, which is the best opinion a board can get, she said.

Two additional sections are filed with two different entities which reviews the report to see if it meets criteria to receive a certificate of excellence for financial reporting – The Government Finance Officers Association and the Association of School Business Officials.

“The Webster school board has received those (certificates) since 1998,” she said. “The school board issues a comprehensive annual financial report and there’s more to that than a regular audit report.”
She gave just a brief overview of the entire report, telling board members the general fund increased by $204,478, bringing the total to just over $4.7 million.

District 6 funds came in at $6.9 million while the 1996 sales tax fund came in at about $8.7 million.
The building fund’s ending balance was $1,483,929. Food service had a balance of $109,503. The balances for all schools, including restricted accounts, totaled $566,437.

The findings she reported had to do with internal control in two instances and there were two findings with federal programs, one being the child nutrition program. She said the supervisor was not approving invoices as they should have been.

“One of the findings had to do with separation of duties, in that when you have a small office staff, you need to try and separate as many functions as you can to have good controls,” she said. “We discussed how that can work a little better as far as accounts payable and internal control.”

She also discussed the findings on the student activity funds, which dealt with mishandling of money in one of the schools in the parish. The finding is just a summary of what took place there, she said.

District 6 board member John Madden asked Finance Director Crevonne Odom if the procedures that were set in place in November had been implemented. She said they had but were being met with some resistance. However, the other two schools involved in the discussion complied.

None of the schools were named aloud during the meeting.

Odom also said, with approval, she wanted to hire an outside consultant to help oversee student activity funds and internal audits at the schools, because during the process of implementing these new procedures and teaching staff at the schools, it was taking away from her responsibilities at Central Office. Not to mention the number of employees it took away from the office.
“We spent two to three days at one school,” she said.

She added the complying schools were doing much better, and in the one school where they met
resistance, that employee no longer works there.

The report will not be official until it is approved by the LLA.

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