The Montclair Public Schools District announced this week that it will make available on its website and proactively distribute the full report of the District’s annual mandatory audit report and the Auditor’s Management Report to the Montclair community.
The audit, which is a state-regulated requirement for each school district in New Jersey and a condition of the District’s federal aid, was conducted by the independent audit firm Nisivoccia, LLP, Certified Public Accountants, which has lead the District’s auditing for the last three years. The released 2013-2014 audit represents the first full year under Penny MacCormack in the position of Superintendent.
Raymond Sarinelli, CPA, the lead partner for Nisivoccia’s independent audit stated, “Having personally conducted the annual audit for the Montclair School District for the last three years, and seen firsthand the state of the District’s records, it is important for the community to understand that in the last year significant improvements have been made in the area of record keeping, processes, financial statements and the organization of information. Significant corrective action has been requested in the past and we were thrilled to see needed progress in this area.”
Among the central findings of the audit:
• The independent auditors did not make any modifications or revisions to any previous financial statements of the District for the 2013-2014 fiscal year and confirmed that there were no material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or material non-compliance.
• The District ended the year with no deficit balances and no line item over expenditures.
• The District continued to spend down the fund balance from a record high of $13.9 million on June 30, 2012, to $9 million on June 30, 2014, with no excess surplus.
• As the district prepares for the development of the 2015-2016 budget, and continues to address increasing expenses in the areas of special education costs, utilities and employee health benefits, it will also face the ongoing challenge of the state-mandated 2% Cap on the tax levy and a declining reserve account.
Results of the audit were first presented to the Board of Education at its monthly meeting right before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Those parties interested in the full audit report and auditor’s management report may now access the information at https://www.montclair.k12.nj.us/WebPage.aspx?Id=2230.
“Releasing all the District’s audit information proactively is crucial to building needed transparency within the community,” stated Montclair Public Schools Superintendent Penny MacCormack. “Whether or not you attended the audit presentation at the last Board meeting, I would encourage every parent to review the specifics now available. The proactive and public release of this audit shows firsthand that we will need to make difficult choices and set budget priorities. We need to join together this budget season, understand our realities and limitations and make the best choices for our schools.”
“The actions of the Superintendent should be celebrated. In addition to improving materially the quality and quantity of the district’s financial information released to the public, Dr. MacCormack and staff have made significant improvements to our financial affairs,” stated Board of Education President David Deutsch. “As the audit states, since taking office, Dr. MacCormack has developed much needed new processes and implemented a variety of operating efficiencies. With the release of the budget, it is important we all educate ourselves and come together to set our priorities for the future.”