An audit of the funds raised by schools for things such as clubs, sports and events has come back pretty clean, with only a few suggestions for Harrisonburg City Public Schools.
Every year, an outside firm audits the “student activity funds” for each school in the division, according to school officials. These funds are separate from the division’s operating budget. Because they are handled by bookkeepers and principals and other administrative staff, it’s important to have an outside firm look for any weaknesses or fraud each year, according to school officials.
However, due to the nature of how much work has to go into filing, signing and keeping track of thousands of purchases and reimbursements, it’s almost impossible for an audit firm not to find some instances when protocol isn’t followed, according to school officials. A school division simply can not afford a staff large enough to ensure that every transaction meets all protocols, officials say.
If an audit turns up no internal control issues, it is generally considered a clean audit.
This year, no internal control issues were identified, according to the audit performed by Brown Edwards, and the audit found seven instances between the schools and central office where protocol wasn’t properly executed.
The ones involving the most money were at central office. There was one instance when a $2,000 purchase was not supported with a purchase order, according to the audit, and an instance where a receipt was not issued to someone submitting funds in the amount of $598.
Other findings, according to the audit:
Harrisonburg High School — one instance of the principal not signing the journal that keeps track of transactions, one instance of the principal not reviewing a monthly bank statement
Skyline Middle School — no findings
Thomas Harrison Middle School — one instance of a teacher holding $40 overnight before submitting it
Bluestone Elementary School — no findings
Keister Elementary School — no findings
Smithland Elementary School — one instance of $5 being held overnight by a teacher, one instance of a check being both issued and signed by the same person
Spotswood Elementary School — no findings
Stone Spring Elementary School — no findings
Waterman Elementary School — no findings
In total, during the fiscal year ending on June 30, the school division received $967,249.73 in activity funds money, and disbursed $981,253.85, according to the audit.