School Zone

 By Treasurer Suzanne Wilson

We were very excited and pleased when the Auditor of State’s office announced in March that Vermilion was selected receive the Auditor of State Award for 2016.  The award recognizes exemplary financial reporting in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

To qualify for this award, school districts must complete an annual financial audit.  The final audit statement must meet the criteria of a “clean” report, which include:

  • Timely filing of financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in accordance with GAAP;
  • The report must not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Single Audit findings or questioned costs;
  • The audit management letter contains no comments (violations) related to ethics referrals, questioned costs less than $10,000, lack of timely report submission, reconciliation, failure to obtain a timely single audit, findings for recovery less than $100 or public meetings or public records
  • The entity has no additional financial or other concerns

A myriad of state and federal laws, rules and regulations have been implemented over the years to guide public entities in accounting for the funds they are entrusted to manage.  These rules cover everything from investment of public monies, to how employees are paid, and the way we handle invoices from vendors.   The job is complicated, time-consuming, and requires that all staff comply with checks and balances at various levels.  Following these rules is important so that the public can be assured that receipts and expenditures are managed appropriately, and reports to governing authorities are submitted in a timely manner.

We are keenly aware that we have a responsibility to the tax-paying public.  Our records are open to scrutiny not only by our elected Board of Education, and the public in general, but also by additional auditing agencies contracted by the State of Ohio and the federal government.  For example, during this school year we experienced not only the annual audit of our overall finances, but two additional audits that were specific to expenditure of State and federal grant funds, and special education funds.  The entire fiscal staff was kept very busy pulling documents and providing financial data for each of these audits.

The ladies in our administrative office work very hard to maintain compliance with all of the rules, regulations and policies that guide us.  It is often difficult and stressful work, especially when those we serve don’t understand the complicated procedures we are required to have in place.  We are very proud of this group of employees, and are happy that they were recognized by State Auditor Dave Yost for the service they provide to our community.

 

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