Outside auditors: School finances in good shape

12/12/2012 7:00 AM |
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Jill Sanders, a certified accountant with Cullen & Danowski LLP, delivers positive news to the Riverhead school board Tuesday night.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Jill Sanders, a certified accountant with Cullen & Danowski LLP, delivers positive news to the Riverhead school board Tuesday night.

An independent audit of the Riverhead School District showed the district is on solid financial ground, with no “significant deficiencies” and a “strong” system of checks and balances within the district to ensure its finances are sound, according to an external auditor’s report.

The audit, presented at Tuesday night’s Riverhead school board meeting, found the district “has done a very good job” of using its reserves to make up for a decreasing amount of state aid, said Jill Sanders, a certified accountant with Cullen & Danowski LLP.

Ms. Sanders also said the district did a good job of monitoring its own spending to keep it under control. The auditors did have some suggestions for how to do certain processes differently, though Ms. Sanders said that was merely their job to fine-tune the district’s operations.

“Overall we’ve been very pleased with what we see,” she said.

Ms. Sanders thanked the board, specifically the audit committee staffed by board members Greg Meyer, Susan Koukounas and Amelia Lantz, for its assistance in making sure the auditors got access to the documents they needed.

“I appreciate the feedback and I appreciate the interaction that I get from the audit committee,” she said. “Whatever we had asked for during the course of the audit, it was given to us, it was given to us rapidly.”

The board also adopted a schedule to develop a budget for the 2013-14 school year. The board will begin setting tentative goals for the budget in mid-January, according to the calendar.

The board will hold presentations on the budget through March and will have a total tentative budget prepared by its April 9 meeting.

The budget will be adopted by the board on April 29, with a public hearing to follow on May 7.

The public will vote on the new budget on May 21, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the four polling places used in the previous budget and school bond votes.

psquire@timesreview.com

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