Republic School District receives top rating in 2019 audit

The Republic R-3 School District passed their fiscal year 2019 audit with flying colors, according to a report presented at the Republic School Board meeting by Rebecca Friedrich, from KPM on Thursday, Dec. 19.
Friedrich told the school board that the district received an “unmodified, or clean opinion,” which she said is the best opinion the district could receive.
“We believe the financial statements are presented, in all material respects, in accordance with the unmodified cash-basis of accounting,” she said.
During her report, Friedrich went over the district’s fund balances. The general fund, she said, ended the fiscal year with a balance of $12.5 million, a decrease of $480,000 from last year. The balance she said, was a 26.78-percent reserve, or a three-month reserve, which she said is what they recommend.
The debt service fund, Friedrich said, has a balance of $7.8 million, of which $6 million is in escrow to pay off bonds that have been refinanced in previous years; the remaining balance is for current debt service. Friedrich also touched on the capital projects fund, which can only be used for capital projects and equipment. She said the fund’s balance is $5.2 million, a $1 million decrease from fiscal year 2018.
Friedrich also said KPM did federal and state compliance audits. In reference to the federal audit, Friedrich said it was required because of the district’s use of federal funds.
“Any time the district spends over $750,000 in federal funds, the district has to have a federal compliance audit,” she said. “The district had $3.4 million in federal funds spent this year, and we had to test the federal education and food service programs. If we have any findings, this report gets submitted to the federal government, but we did not have any findings to report.”
While there were no findings to report, Friedrich said the audit would be submitted to the federal government as proof the district was being audited as required.
The state audit, she said, was for DESE to ensure the district was accurately reporting student attendance and other required information. Friedrich said KPM also found no finding to report to DESE, meaning the district was compliant in the state audit.
Friedrich did make one recommendation in her audit report, and that was the district make certain that all employees were trained on cyber-security.
“This is just a general recommendation that we have for all of our audit clients,” she said. “It’s become a real hot topic, I know. I get e-mails on a regular basis, trying to get me to click on something, and we’re just reminding you to that it’s really important to make sure you have training and education for all of the employees, because you want to make sure there is no data breach of your accounting information or student records. Also, check up on your insurance policies to make sure that you’re covered there if something were to happen.”
At the end of her report, Friedrich stated the district employees KPM had made contact with had been “cooperative and professional” over the course of the audit.
“We really appreciate that,” she said.


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