BENNINGTON -- An independent accountant presented the results of his audit of the Mount Anthony Union School District finances to the school board on Wednesday, and the results were largely positive.
Alan Walther, CPA, of the Bonadio Group performed the audit and delivered the presentation. He gave a detailed report in a financial meeting before the regularly scheduled school board meeting, and then delivered an abbreviated version of the report at the regular meeting, which was televised.
"We issued an unmodified report on the school district's financial statements, that is the highest level of assurance that we can give. What that means, in layman's terms, is that, in our opinion, we believe that the financial statements are fairly presented. We noted no material weaknesses in internal controls," said Walther.
According to Walther, the audit had three goals: To audit the financial statement, to consider and report on internal controls, and to consider and report on the school's compliance with laws and regulations. Walther said that the school passed on all three accounts.
A draft version of his report is available on the SVSU website, svsu.net, under the board documents for the Dec. 18 meeting of the Mount Anthony Board. Chief financial officer Richard Pembroke says the final report should be presented in a matter of weeks. Audits of past years are also available online for public viewing.
Walther said that the school district had total assets equaling $5,139,984, and total liabilities equaling $1,720,405, leaving the school with a fund balance of $3,419,579. However, the board had previously voted to appropriate $1,386,777 for FY14 expenditures, leaving the school with a total unassigned fund balance of $1,653,791 that will be available to be applied to the FY15 budget that is currently being worked on.
Walther said the large amount of excess funds is a result of both the school's revenues exceeding expectations by $860,575, and the school's expenditures being under the expected total by $207,309.
Walther went on to say that, "the overall results of the audit were very favorable," adding that there were no instances of discrepancies in internal control or instances of non-compliance.
Asked by Mount Anthony school board member Edward Letourneau during the finance meeting if there was anything the school should be watching out for in terms of compliance, Walther responded, "No, and again, part of our audit report is in regards to compliance, and we consider compliance at a very high level. What we consider for compliance is are you preparing a budget, are you getting the budget approved, are you complying with requirements to file, payroll tax returns, significant high-level compliance-type issues that if you didn't do those things it would have a material effect on your financial statement."
Timothy Holbrook made a motion to accept the report, with one minor correction (page 2 was labeled page 3).
The board adopted it unanimously.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB