BV school board meets with state audit panel

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Berryville School Board met with the Arkansas Legislative Joint Auditing Committee's Subcommittee on Educational Institutions on Thursday, Sept. 17 in Little Rock.

Superintendent Phil Clark said the meeting went well, saying it lasted only 15 minutes.

"I had a handout and gave it to all the members as to what we are doing and what we still have planned to do, and there was very little discussion," Clark said.

The handout lists ways the district plans to address financial accounting needs. These needs, Clark said, came about because of accounting errors.

"I'm trying to fix our accounting procedures. It's not anything about money or loss of funds or anything. It's a process needing to be fixed," Clark said.

To fix this process, Clark said he has asked assistant superintendent Teresa Ragsdale for help. The handout explains that Ragsdale has already established protocol for the use of district credit cards and purchasing by concessions, athletics and family and consumer science. No credit card payment will be issued if an invoice can be sent and paid with a check, the handout says.

The handout adds that Ragsdale has begun training building administrators in coding and the use of federal categorical funds, saying Clark now requires monthly bank statements to be submitted to the upper administration.

The district's to-do list, the handout continues, includes conducting random checks on revenue and expenditure entries, monitoring the district budget and requiring each member of the finance department to set goals for the year.

Clark said the school board has been open to the changes after his meeting with the subcommittee on May 7.

At that meeting, Clark appeared before the subcommittee after an independent audit of the school district's finances for the 2013-2014 school year resulted in a finding of problems with the district's internal financial controls. These findings revealed that the district did not properly record accounts payable in the operating fund, special revenue fund, building fund and fiduciary fund amounting to $151,000.

"I've got a good board. They've listened. They've done well. I think they have a better understanding now of what I've tried to do and what I'm still trying to do," Clark said.

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