Monday, November 30, 2020

Auditor gives school district a clean bill of financial health

Audit shows improvements

Gunnison RE1J school board members received a report from their independent financial auditor at their regular school board meeting on Monday, December 10, and the news was good. Auditor Dean Johnson of Johnson, Holscher and Company, P.C. said the district was in better financial shape than it had been in years.




Johnson said the district was operating with a general fund that had total assets of $4 million and a total liability of $1.8 million, resulting in a $2.1 million general fund balance. The fund balance, Johnson said, was essentially the equity the school district has on a cash basis.
"That’s come a long way in the last two years," he said. "We were teetering a few years ago on a quarter of that."
The general fund pays for nearly all of the district’s operating expenses, including staff salaries and most maintenance.
Johnson said the capital reserve fund had assets of $316,000 and a liability of $6,000, giving the fund a balance of $309,000.
"You actually have some equity there," he said. "That’s good for five or six school busses, or a major roof repair."
Johnson said the total district’s expenditures were over $12 million. "You’re running a big operation here," he said. But in spite of the large expenditures, he noted that revenues exceeded expenditures in the general fund by $330,000. "That’s a favorable variance," he added.
Johnson said the capital reserve expenditures exceeded revenues by $45,000, which he said wasn’t particularly significant. "That’s not unusual for capital reserve to swing a little one way or another," he said.
Turning to the statistical date portion of the audit, Johnson noted that after 10 years of declining district enrollment, the 2006/2007 school year saw an increase of nearly 6 percent.
"That’s a change," he said. "It doesn’t take you back up to where you were 10 years ago, but it’s a trend line," he said.
Johnson said the district’s total value in capital assets amounted to nearly $31 million. However, he noted, accumulated depreciation of those assets amounted to about $9 million, and the audit’s valuation wasn’t a fair reflection of the cost to replace such assets.
"These figures are not the fair market value of the assets, but rather what they originally cost," he said, "so fair market value or replacement value would be much higher."
In concluding his report, Johnson said the purpose of the audit was to make sure the financial statements of the district were accurate.
"The financial statements you’ve given us are correct, he said.
Gunnison RE1J school board members will have a retreat on Thursday and Friday, December 13 and 14, during which they will discuss goals and objectives for the coming year. 

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