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District 196 budget gets a clean bill of health from auditors

Following a yearly audit of the 2008-09 comprehensive financial report, School District 196's financial records of School District 196 are considered in good standing condition.

The yearly audit, performed by the accounting firm of Malloy Montague, Karnowski, Radosevich, and Co., was presented at Monday's school board meeting. The district earned a clean opinion on its basic financial statements.

"It is the highest form of opinion that we can give," said Bill Lauer, a partner at MMKR.

The district is responsible for more than $300 million in annual revenue and expenditures. The state's fourth largest school district, ISD 196 enrolled 27,683 students in 2008-09 from a population area of 105,298 people.

The district passed each area of the audit, with only one minor deficiency reported. Lauer said there was a deficiency related to cash receipts that are collected outside of the main business office, but it wasn't enough of a concern to alter the auditor's overall opinion.

"Most of the district's cash does come in through the business office, so this didn't rise to the higher level of a material weakness, but it was something we wanted to bring to your attention," Lauer said during the meeting.

During a board workshop, the accounting firm presented the school board with options on improving the control on the cash coming in outside of the district's business office.

The district could improve its standing in the area by having another individual at each site involved in the process, using a system of checks and balances. The district could also increase the amount of documentation the sites must provide the main business office when it comes receipt of money, and having someone in the business office act as a control on the site-based incoming cash.

"All in all, this is a very clean audit report," Lauer said. We found the district's financial records to be in good condition."