‘Job well done’

Published 10:43 am Monday, November 26, 2012

JACKSON – Northampton County Schools has received a clean bill of financial health for another fiscal year.

On Monday, Adam Sceturek with Anderson Smith & Wike presented the school district’s recent audit, which was completed in August and showed an increase to the fund balance. He said the audit received an unqualified opinion.

Sceturek reported the district’s net change in fund balance for general fund was an increase of $208,000 and the increase for other special revenue fund balance (state and other restricted grants) was $281,000.

“I would say Northampton County Schools is a financial sound and stable government unit and it was able to increase fund balance for the year,” he said.

Sceturek said the proprietary fund/Child Nutrition/School Food Service fund also made gains with a change in net assets by approximately $29,000 to the fund balance. Child Nutrition was also able to pay $112,000 of indirect costs (paid to governmental funds for administrative and maintenance).

He added for the department to add to fund balance and pay off indirect costs was a feat.

“That’s fairly rare across these years across the state as far as Child Nutrition Departments go, job well done,” Sceturek said.

Sceturek said the school district was also in compliance for every major federal and state program (Child Nutrition, Race to the Top, State Public School Fund, Voc Ed, and NC Pre-K) that the company audited.

Board Vice Chair Erica Smith-Ingram questioned why depreciation exceeded capital outlay by $922,000.

“That wasn’t an audit exception,” she asked.

“That is not an exception,” Sceturek said. “When you purchase buildings or when you purchase equipment you don’t necessarily expense the full amount, you depreciate it over time. This is a conversion of the fund financial statements into a giant financial statement, in there includes fixed assets which is normally excluded from funds and also debt, which is mainly annual leave.”

Sceturek said what the report stated is that depreciation expense was more than what the school district paid for new equipment.

“So by virtue of having more expense over what you bought new, this number is negative,” he said. “It is a non-cash expense.”

Board member Marjorie Edwards moved to accept the annual audit report. Donald Johnson offered a second. The motion was approved without objection.

Board member Phil Matthews congratulated the administration office on the audit report.

“Not every school district gets an audit this good in my opinion across the state,” he said.

Matthews fellow board members indicated they agreed as well.