District receives clean audit for 2016-17 finances
District receives clean audit for 2016-17 finances
Posted on 01/11/2018

Clean Audit GraphicIndependent auditing firm Malloy, Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich & Co., PA, (MMKR) has given School District 197 a “clean opinion” of its finances for 2016-17.

James Eichten of MMKR presented the 2016-17 Audit Report at a School Board meeting on December 18. Overall, MMKR has issued a “clean opinion” — the highest rating an auditor can give — on the district’s basic financial statements, emphasizing good record keeping and financial accounting. The district has received the same rating for several years in a row.

“The financial results reflect adherence to the budget,” Eichten said. “The district is in a stable financial position, and as we always like to point out, the financial record keeping continues to be excellent.”

Eichten commended the district and school board for their budgeting process and efforts to manage expenses, stating that expenditures came in on budget last year. In fact, the district came within .1% of its budget estimate, something few districts are able to do.

In addition, the district has focused on maintaining a conservative fund balance for the past several years. 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. In 2014-15, the fund balance was one of the factors that contributed to an increase in the district’s bond rating from ‘A+’ to ‘AA-,’ which can lead to lower interest rates on debt and, in turn, a savings to taxpayers. Increases in enrollment and state funding have assisted in sustaining this fund balance in recent years.

The report given at the board meeting also showed the district’s per pupil general fund expenses to be at $12,236 in 2016. This is slightly higher, but in line with the average expenditures of other school districts in the seven country metro area of $11,959 for 2016.

Per student administration and district support costs in District 197 are low at $708 in comparison to other metro districts who were at $958 in 2016. Overall per pupil general fund expenses remain comparable, in part, due to the district allocating more dollars to the classroom for instructional support services, however. District 197 was at $999 in 2016. The seven county metro area average in 2016 was $725.

“The district is committed to the responsible and transparent use of our resources,” said Brian Schultz, the district’s Director of Finance. “We work hard to allocate funds in ways that will support kids and help the district achieve its educational goals, but are also wise and sustainable.”

The full audit report is available on the district’s website at www.isd197.org/district/finance.