By Crystal Burns
The Gibson County Special School District can once again boast of a clean audit thanks to the oversight of the district’s financial director and the work of administrative staff and bookkeepers at all schools.
Director of Finance and Operations Terry Cunningham said the district has had clean audits each year of his 14-year tenure and its consecutive street could go back even farther. A clean audit means auditors reported no significant findings.
Chloe Humphrey, the district’s audit manager from Cowart Reese Sargent, reviewed the individual school accounts and district account with board members Thursday night.
“I’ve had no issue with management,” she said. “All the bookkeepers and principals are above par and so easy to work with. They make our lives very easy. I’m happy to report that we made a really big push last year to work very closely with the bookkeepers and principals and kind of streamline our communication with them and be sure that we followed up and gave them recommendations on any findings or comments that we had through the audit process. Mr. Terry [Cunningham] really helped with that. We noticed a huge cleanup, if you will, of items that we had seen from year to year and didn’t get fixed. This year, the bookkeeping at each school has improved tremendously.”
While Humphrey had no findings to report, she did have several management recommendations to convey to the board. The recommendations resulted from instances of school personnel not following procedures outlined in the Tennessee Internal School Uniform Accounting Policy Manual.
Humphrey said some of the recommendations are “seemingly small,” but auditors try to stick to the manual. She suggested school leaders provide more training to bookkeepers and teachers who handle money from ticket sales, concessions, and clubs to ensure that all policies and procedures are followed correctly.
Another concern was a deficit in two restricted funds at Spring Hill. Humphrey stressed that the school’s cash balances were accurate. Cunningham has assigned someone from the district office to provide more support and training to the bookkeeper.
“I think that will be something that remedies itself next year,” she said.
In the district account, auditors noted one deficiency based on the district’s internal controls. During cafeteria procedures at Yorkville, auditors noted multiple instances where cafeteria reciepts were not being deposited timely. The state says that deposits should be made within three business days. Humphrey said the district’s rebuttal is that there is not a bank in close proximity to the school.
“I don’t know what the solution is going to be on that,” Humphrey said.