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FRHSD in Good Financial Position, Auditors Say

Only one suggestion was made to the district in the 2012 Financial Report going forward.

The Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education approved the 2012’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report at their meeting Monday. No improprieties were found against the district, but one suggestion was made.

Robert Swisher, an auditor from Suplee, Clooney & Company, recommended that a detailed analysis of the balance in the payroll agency account be reconciled to the amount of deposit on a monthly basis.

The payroll agency account keeps track of all salary deductions, such as garnishments and pensions. Swisher said that a detailed analysis of this account was not provided monthly, and it should be.

Freehold Regional is one of the few school districts within the state of New Jersey that is capable of preparing the annual financial report themselves and supplying it to the auditor for review.

School districts undergo an extensive audit every year where representatives from the Audit Forum are in the district for a number of days. Every district must comply with a significant number of state compliances.

Swisher said that his company spent weeks auditing the Freehold Regional district to see if they are fully compliant with state requirements and then write up a report which is under strict protocol followed by the auditors and monitored by the State Comptroller’s office.

“We audit approximately 30 school districts and in 29 other school districts we go in and take the records and actually prepare the comprehensive financial report. Freehold is the only district where the district actually prepares the report themselves,” Swisher said, commending the Finance Department.

“Overall, the district is in a good financial position,” Swisher said, noting that extra monies were able to be placed in capital reserve, maintenance reserves, and that there will be enough money for next year’s budget. “The district has done a good job in preparing for budgets more than one year at a time.”

The Freehold Regional High School District operates within an approximate budget of $190 million, according to Superintendent Charles Sampson. “We have, not just a clean bill of health year in and year out, but an exemplary report on our audit with minimal, if any, comments on action items that need to be improved,” he said.

Sampson publicly thanked Business Administrator Sean Boyce and Assistant Business Administrator Alexandre Ferreira and the entire Business Department for their hard work in preparing for the audit.

Boyce said that the district is where it needs to be in preparing for next year’s budget. However, a significant portion of the district’s operating budget is state aid and Boyce said that the pressures from Hurricane Sandy on the state’s budget may affect the amount of aid the district sees next year.

Curious George December 12, 2012 at 02:06 PM
You're right...Mr. S. hopefully opened some eyes of the public to another form of fiscal abuse within the FRHSD.
cynicinmarlboro December 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
The last paragraph is also significant based on the new organization of the administration and the continuing contract negotiations which give more and more. These will have a much greater impact next year when the burden will fall more on the taxpayers due to expenses from Sandy cutting into all manner of funding from the state. It should be interesting next November if the budget needs to be voted on because they need to go beyond the 2% cap.
Manalapan Lady December 12, 2012 at 02:56 PM
So the FRHSD gets to hand over a "comprehensive financial report" that was prepared by the finance department of the district? Hmmm.... I wonder if the "comprehensive financial report" would have a different result if the auditing company actually went through all the records and compiled this "comprehensive financial report" as they do in the other 29 districts. I can only wonder what is "missing" from this financial report.
anonymous December 12, 2012 at 04:39 PM
..."Freehold is the only district where the district actually prepares the report themselves,...” For some reason, I don't find that comforting or reassuring. And who pays this auditor? The FRHSD? Again, not comforting.
cynicinmarlboro December 12, 2012 at 04:55 PM
The FRHSD's accounting practices are probably very good. It's what the board allows the administration to do with the money that has been questionable for years.

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