District receives clean audit for 2013-14 finances
District receives clean audit for 2013-14 finances
Posted on 11/24/2014

Independent auditing firm Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich & Co., PA, (MMKR) has given School District 197 a “clean opinion” of its finances for 2013-14. 

James Eichten of MMKR presented the 2013-14 Audit Report at a meeting of the School Board on Nov. 17. Overall, MMKR has issued a “clean opinion” — the highest rating an auditor can give — on the district’s basic financial statements, citing good record keeping and financial accounting. The district has received the same rating for several years in a row.

“Allocating resources in a wise, sustainable manner is among the district’s core values,” said Brian Schultz, director of finance. “We work hard to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and are proud that our careful budgeting continues to strengthen the district’s financial situation.”

Eichten reported that the district’s unassigned fund balance has increased by $2.2 million (about 3.7 percent of the district’s total general fund operating expenditures) since last year. The district has focused on increasing its fund balance for the past few years. Maintaining a conservative fund balance adds to the overall financial stability of the district, is an indication of prudent spending, and allows for better long-range planning.

As enrollment in the District continues to rise, it has a positive effect on the fund balance. The District also continued to collect funds from an operating levy passed in 2011, while an increase in state funding also helped grow the fund balance.

“First-ring school districts are seeing these same results that we are seeing in District 197 with the increases in suburban enrollment. In short, the District is doing well financially,” Eichten said.

Eichten also told the School Board that the projected versus actual budget prepared by the district Finance Office for 2013-14 was exceptionally accurate. With a budget of nearly $72 million dollars, overall revenues were $84,000 over budget. Expenses, meanwhile, were $478,000 under budget. Both figures are accurate within 1 percent.

“Your finance team got within $84,000 on a $72 million dollar budget,” Eichten said. “That just doesn’t happen, in the school district are nor the commercial entities that we work with. That’s exceptional. That is 0.1 percent.”