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Morris Area School Board gets clean audit

The Morris Area School Board got a clean audit report Monday.

Derek Flannagan from the auditing firm, Eide Bailly, updated the board on the district's finances.

The district is in relatively good financial shape, according to the review of the books. Flannagan noted that there was no change in the auditor's opinion on the district over the past several years, "Which is what you want."

The district received a "clean" audit or "unqualified opinion," which means the district's financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices and are free from material misstatement.

Flannagan noted that a comparison of the district's budget to actual expenditures was very close, with revenue one percent higher than budgeted and expenditures one percent lower. The total budget for the district for fiscal year 2012 was $9,124,032. Flannagan said a one percent variance is very good.

For the last two years, the state has increased the amount of general education aid that is delayed for all school districts across the state, which Flannagan said has put some districts in a really tough cash flow situation. He noted that at the low point in the year, Morris Area has about $200,000 in the bank, while monthly expenses are between $700,000 and $800,000.

Flannagan agreed that school finances are a constant balancing act, which is difficult since nearly 80 percent of the district's revenue is from the state.

Overall, Flannagan noted that the district's finances are within the range the Board set as their goal. The district's policy is to maintain a minimum unassigned fund balance of five percent of the annual budget.