All Minnesota school districts are required to conduct an annual financial audit at the close of each fiscal year. The fiscal year for school districts is July 1 to June 30. Each annual audit is conducted by an independent audit firm. The final audit report is presented to the school board in December of each year.
The cost of running the district is paid through a combination of local property taxes, state aid and other revenues such as fees, gate receipts, etc.
The District's Fiscal Year 2018 audit was conducted by the firm of Bergan KDV, who presented the results of the audit to the school board on December 3, 2018. The reports shared with the Board include:
Highlights of this year's audit include:
- The auditors issued an unmodified opinion which is the best opinion an auditor can issue.
- The district’s financial statements present fairly in all aspects the district’s financial position.
- The auditors found a material weakness in lack of segregation of accounting duties which is due to a limited number of district office staff. It is a finding that is noted yearly for the district.
- The auditors also found a deficiency in Community Education revenue. This is due to the receipting process as there were inconsistencies in billing and account reconciliation.
- General fund revenues of $61,681,657 increased $3,287,345 or 5.6%. This is due to an increase in student enrollment, an increase in LTFM revenue, and higher than anticipated special education revenue.
- General fund expenditures increased 8.4% to $61,992,150. This is due to an increase in additional staff due to an increase in student enrollment and higher than anticipated special education expenditures.
- The fund balance increased by $133,966 from $16,892,906 to $17,026,872, which is 2.7 months of operating expenditures. District policy requires a General Fund balance equal to 1.5 months of operating expenditures.
- The unassigned fund balance increased from $13,934,239 to $13,997,604.
- The unrestricted fund balance as a percentage of unrestricted expenditures is 28.4%. This is compared to the state average of 20.3%. This statistic is often used to evaluate the financial health of a school district.
- The food service fund finished the year with a 26.3% fund balance, which is a very healthy $871,508. Revenues increased 1.8% due to increased meals served because of an increase in student enrollment. Expenditures increased 14.2% due to increased kitchen staff and planned equipment purchases.
- Expenditures exceeded revenues by $108,072 in the Community Service Fund. This resulted in a decrease in the fund balance by 0.5%.
- The district gets the vast majority of revenue from state aid which is 88.3% of the general fund. Local taxes account for 7.2% of the general fund.
- In 2017 the district generated $9,346 per STMA student compared to the state average of $12,364. To educate an STMA student the district spent $9,153 per student (compared to a state average of $12,587).
The District continues to be sound and stable