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Crookston school district gets a clean audit for 2019-20

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    The 2019-2020 Crookston School District audit was presented to the School Board during their recent special meeting and their hired representative said the district received a “clean audit opinion” and had a “positive year.”

    Derek Flanagan of Eide Bailly gave the board a 20-minute “executive summary” presentation focusing on the year’s information and the board is set to approve the audit at their next regularly-scheduled board meeting.

    Highlights of the audit presented by Flanagan included:

    • General Fund revenues had .3% variance (more than anticipated)

    • GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) Statement No. 84 (Fiduciary Activities) adoption of student activity accounts and scholarship funds now being reported within the General Fund

    • No federal awards were given to the district

    • Increase in cash (different from the fund balance)

    • Food Service Fund received less than anticipated resulting in a negative variance

    • Community Service Fund had a steady increase in year-end fund balance

    • Debt Service Fund five-year history showed a decrease (“typically will be close to a break-even fund”)

    • Average Daily Attendance of students increased, padding the General Fund

    “I would caution looking at next year’s student count that might impact revenues,” Flanagan said, talking about final numbers. “2020 was such a unique year with COVID so there might be some one-time savings, but I wouldn’t count on a huge increase every year.”

    Also, the school district policy strives to maintain a minimum unassigned fund balance (no less than 10% of the annual budget), highlighted Flanagan, and the district’s current balance is at 19% which was an increase from the previous years. School Board member Dave Davidson inquired about the district being 9% above their own goal and Flanagan said there is no maximum.

    “For the four years previous to this you were bouncing around that 15% and would go up and down,” Flanagan explained. “With COVID and more students than anticipated you did achieve that jump; you’re consistent with no large swings and then had that unique nature of this year with the large increase.”

    School Board member Tim Dufault asked Flanagan how other districts were doing and was told there was no specific trend that’s a “one-size-fits-all.”

    “Each district is facing their own challenges,” said Flanagan. “What comes into play is the size of the district, are they a very rural territory or is it a larger city and makeup of school and what they’re operating in their community service fund; Maybe revenue isn’t coming in because of programs? There’s no one size fits all.”

Eide Bailly rep Derek Flanagan starts his audit presentation over Zoom during the school board's special meeting