Board of Education audit lists some findings related to internal controls

Published 3:58 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Chilton County Board of Education has received its audit for the fiscal year that ended in September 2021. The audit was released in December 2022, and the auditor visited the Jan. 17, 2023 Chilton County Board of Education meeting to give a brief overview of the findings.

While there were no material weaknesses listed, which is a positive thing. However, there were significant deficiencies listed related to internal controls of how financial transactions were documented. There were no findings related to federal awards. The audit covers the fiscal year that would have been October 2020 to September 2021.

The audit states, “Internal controls were not in place to ensure capital assets were properly recorded on the financial statements,” including when buses were purchased, the Thorsby High School multipurpose building construction and improperly listing a roofing project as construction in progress instead of building improvement. Also, capital assets purchased did not match capital assets reported in the amount of $455,374.

Through the audit process, the Chilton County Board of Education has a chance to respond to each of the findings and a plan to correct the issue. Superintendent Jason Griffin, Chief School Financial Officer Alisa Benson, Board President Pam Price and board members Chris Smith, Jacqueline Sullivan and Lori Patterson were present during the exit conference for the audit.

In this case, the board agreed with the findings and offered this explanation:

“In prior years, inventory for fixed assets was either not performed or not performed properly and the person handling this task was not trained. In fiscal year 2021 inventory was performed, however due to lack of documentation not all issues could be addressed before the end of the fiscal year,” according to the audit.

Training has been added to address this issue.

Other findings and responses included:

  • Continued issues with receipt records at the school level. This issue had been an audit finding at least one school audited in previous years. This year, Jemison Intermediate and Jemison High School were a part of the audit. According to the audit, “There were twenty (20) instances noted in which the breakdown of currency type (i.e., cash or check) was not indicated on receipts written by teachers.” JIS had five receipts submitted with an incorrect date, and JHS had “19 instances of teachers who did not submit receipted money to the school’s bookkeeper in a timely manner.”

In response, the board detailed the plan that had been put in place, “In fiscal year 2021, receipt books were ordered by the CSFO and logged out to each school while the electronic Receipt Module was being installed and tested. Proper training in receipting was provided at several bookkeeper meetings.”

  • Issues with the required forms accounting for ticket sales for athletic events being filled out. This year, the audit specifically listed JHS, but this had been an audit finding for another school on the previous audit. According to the audit, the school board agreed that it needed to ensure that its policies and procedures for ticket sales were being followed. The board also stated that training has been put in place, and many of the athletic ticket sales have moved to GoFan, eliminating paper tickets altogether.
  • Purchase order policies and procedures not being followed. The board responded that training on this had been offered during bookkeeper meetings in 2021 and would continue.
  • Lack of required forms for fundraisers at an audited school. The board responded that training on this had been added in the bookkeeper meetings starting in January 2021 and one-on-one training would also be offered.

The complete audit is available for review here: