By Sarah Naron
LATEXO – During its regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Thursday, Dec. 14, the Latexo Independent School District Board of Trustees heard the district’s financial audit for the 2016-2017 school year presented by Shelby Lackey, CPA and partner in assurance services for Weaver and Tidwell, LLP.
Lackey began by directing the board’s attention to the independent auditor’s report.
“It basically says that we issued an unmodified opinion, which a few years ago was called an unqualified opinion,” Lackey explained. “That means we issued a clean opinion. We did not see any material misstatements within the financial statements.”
Lackey also provided the board with information on the government wide financial statements present in the audit.
“You all see these statements one time a year,” she said. “They’re full accrual statements, which is a long term measurement focus and an economic focus as well. So, long-term assets and long-term debt are included in this set of financial statements. If you look at net position of $4.3 million, that is not fund balance. That’s a very different number; it’s measured very different.”
According to Lackey, the district’s general fund was composed of $2 million worth of assets, “mainly cash and investments and some property tax money.” The liability fund totaled $509,000, “mainly due to other government and accrued wages.” The district also had unavailable property taxes of $118,000, bringing the total fund balance of $1.3 million.
“The debt service fund is where you set aside property tax money to pay down debt,” explained Lackey. “You can see it had $508,000 in assets, mainly your property tax receivables. You had some small – basically due to the state – of $12,000, resulting in restricted fund balance for your debt service fund of $475,000.”
Lackey also reviewed the district’s special revenue funds.
“For the most part, those are local, state and federal grants that wash in and out of the district within the same time period; within the same year,” she said. “So, for the most part, they don’t carry a fund balance. You’ll see a little bit there. Some would be for child nutrition, and the other would be for campus activities.
Lackey also provided information on LISD’s statement of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balance.
“Your general fund had $4.6 million in revenues, mainly local money of property taxes and foundation state money of $2.8 million,” she reported. “And you had some small federal money there. Expenditures are $4.6 million, mainly your wages; your instruction wages of $2.7 (million).
“You transferred some money out to other funds (in the amount of) $55,000, resulting in a small decrease in general fund by $70,000,” she went on.
Lackey reported that the debt service fund amounted to $278,000 in revenues.
“You made your debt payments, resulting in a slight increase in debt service of $36,000,” she said.
“A few years ago, there was a major overhaul for pension and a lot of discussion about pension – how you, as a district, would make your normal monthly payments for TRS like you currently do, and then, there’s an actuarial obligation – a net pension liability that’s being recorded one time a year at the government-wide level,” Lackey explained. “A couple years down the road, we’ll see a similar instance for retiree healthcare, so you’ll see that phase its way in. It will only affect the government-wide financial statements.”
According to Lackey, the district did a good job of not having any appropriations that were over budget throughout the year.
“The district had planned on receiving $4.7 million in revenue, and you actually received $4.6 (million),” she explained. “So, you were under the revenue mark just a little bit, but you can see you curved your expenditures back to make sure that you stayed within budget.
“You planned a $32,000 decrease in fund balance and ended up at $70,000, and it looks like most of that was a transfer out – probably to child nutrition, if I’m not mistaken,” she reported.
Lackey then directed the board’s attention to page 69 of the audit report.
“If you were to leave here today (and) thought somebody might ask you, ‘How did your audit go?’ this would be your best friend,” she said. “It tells you that we issued an unmodified opinion on the financial statements, that we did not see any material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in the internal controls over the financial statements and we did not see any material noncompliance as well and that you all had not had any findings this year or in prior years.”
Following a brief period of additional discussion, a motion was made, seconded and unanimously carried by the members of the board to approve the audit report.
Sarah Naron may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.