Audit Reveals No Problems For Remsenburg School

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An audit conducted by a private company found no major issues with the Remsenburg-Speonk School District’s finances, according to a document presented to the Board of Education on Monday evening.

R.S. Abrams & Co., LLP, the Islandia auditing firm that examined the books for the 2013-14 school year, noted that the single-school district’s financial practices were sound, though the company does not offer an official opinion on the results of its examination.

“During our audit, we did not identify any deficiencies in internal control that we consider to be material weaknesses,” the company told district officials in a letter summarizing its findings.

School Superintendent Ronald Masera, who is also the principal of the Mill Road school, said the document offered a few suggestions that district officials are now undertaking.

“For instance, we were not requiring our staff to change our passwords for various applications and for network access frequently enough,” Mr. Masera wrote in an email.

He also stated that from now on, when completing the kitchen inventory, his staff will separate government commodities from purchased goods, like additional snack and drink options.

The audit, which looked at financial records for the year ending on June 30, also found that the district presented its records fairly and presented all required materials in an organized fashion. While it did not offer an opinion on the district’s financial state, the company did note several changes made in recent budgets.

District revenues, which come primarily from property taxes, have decreased due to a drop in state aid and operating grants, according to the audit, while increases in instruction and pupil transportation costs have bumped up the district’s expenditures. The district’s revenues went from $12,277,839 in 2013 to $12,148,410 in 2014, while its expenditures went from $12,261,979 to $12,640,867 over the same time.

However, the district’s general fund balance was not hit by the increase in expenditures, according to the fiscal examination. The balance now stands at $2,414,722, up from $2,386,073 in 2013, the audit notes.

The district also received $30,071 in additional revenue in the form of Payments In Lieu of Taxes, or PILOTs, for the 2013-14 school year. In 2012-13, the district received $35,768 in PILOTs. PILOT money is not included in the budget, according to District Clerk Brenda Petrolito, so any additional money in the form of PILOT funds are considered added revenue.

The district’s budget for the 2014-15 school year a little more than $13 million.

Overall, district officials said they were happy with the results of the audit.

“The suggestions we did receive are being implemented,” Cecelia Frey, president of the Board of Education, said at Monday’s meeting, though she did not go into detail about the suggestions. “I, for one, am very pleased.”

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