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KCSD audit gets 'unqualified opinion'

Posted: December 7, 2010 3:35 p.m.
Updated: December 8, 2010 5:00 a.m.

An external independent CPA firm has given the Kershaw County School District an “unqualified opinion” during its annual financial audit.

Larry Montague of Burkett, Burkett & Burkett presented the firm’s audit of the school district’s 2009-10 financial statements during the board’s most recent meeting.

“We issued three opinions … the first one is an unqualified opinion on the financial statements. The second one is that we see no deficiencies for the internal controls over your financial reporting process,” Montague said, adding that an unqualified opinion is best opinion that a CPA can give. “And the last one is an unqualified opinion on your compliance with the major requirements of federal funds.”

Acknowledging that audits are a test of transactions, Montague said they did not look at 100 percent of the school district’s transactions. Instead, the firm used their professional judgment to determine how large of a sample needed to be looked at, which includes areas of cash disbursements, cash receipts, payroll transactions and federal awards programs.

“We did not see any issues of noncompliance with district policy in any of the work that we have done. Which is kind of unusual; usually we would see one or two items … maybe a signature was forgotten or a date stamp wasn’t on something,” he said. “Everything we looked at was totally in compliance with the district’s procedures.”

During his presentation, Montague commended the school district’s food service operations for not costing the district any money at a time when food prices have not been increased.

Regarding the school district’s financial stability, Montague said the board has had to make tough decisions with recent reductions, which allowed them to improve the district’s fund balance within the past year.

However, he added, the current fund balance only represents 2 percent of expenditures. He encouraged the board to have as much as 30 days worth, or 8 percent, of the district’s total budget in reserve funds in the event that any unexpected “hiccups” in funding occurred.

 “Although your fund balance is higher than it was last year,” he said, “it is still in my personal opinion and in my firm’s opinion, very low compared to what we feel like a strong financial statement would be.”

On Tuesday morning, Morgan said he was gratified by that the results of the financial audit showed that the “financial management was top notch.”

“And I was pleased that the auditor recognized the tough decisions that we have faced. I’ve been told that ever since (Chief Financial Officer) Donnie (Wilson) came, the audits have been clean as a whistle,” he said. “I really appreciate the work that the finance staff has had to put in to get this done in a timely manner.”


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