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Ash Grove Schools Audit Released

ASH GROVE, Mo. – State Auditor Tom Schweich released an audit of the Ash Grove school district Monday evening and rated the district as “fair.”
ASH GROVE, Mo. – State Auditor Tom Schweich released an audit of the Ash Grove school district Monday evening and rated the district as “fair.”

The audit comes after Schweich’s office received 406 signatures for a petition audit of the school district in March 2013.

The 47-page audit looked at areas including:

  • Accounting controls over cash receipts and change funds
  • District compensation
  • Payroll procedures, records and policies
  • Bond refinancing, procurement procedures and construction projects
  • Disbursements
  • Budget monitoring and accounting records and controls
  • Attendance reporting and computer controls
  • School board procedures and minutes
  • Capital assets and fuel usage

The audit rates the Ash Gove school district as fair, meaning the district needs to improve operations in several areas.

The report says the district does not adequately keep inventory of district property and capital assets held outside of the classrooms.

Schweich also says the district needs to improve its handling of receipts and change funds. He says staff does not properly record all money that has been received, deposit the money in a timely manner, maintain copies of receipt slips and more.

During the audit process, auditors found cash from student activity fees in unlocked desk drawer and classroom file cabinet.

As far as district compensation, Schweich says the district lacks adequate procedures for approving employment contracts and does not prepare employment contracts or separately approve salary schedules for tenured teachers.

“The district gives the Superintendent an annual in-district mileage allowance of $1,500, but has not documented the basis for this additional compensation and did not report it as taxable income,” says the audit. “The district did not report on W-2 forms additional compensation paid to the Superintendent for driving a bus to athletic events, additional compensation paid to employees for working the gate at athletic events, additional compensation paid to 3 teachers for awards, and the value of commuting miles for the maintenance/bus mechanic.”

The district also paid $51,000 in step-ladder payments to 43 teachers, but lacks adequate policies and procedures to administer the program properly, according to Schweich.

Another area needing improvement is the district’s disbursements.

According to Schweich, the district does not segregate accounting duties over disbursements and the list of bills approved by the Board each month is incomplete.

The audit says the district paid $10,610 to a local hardware business owned by the Board president for purchases made without soliciting bids.

The audit goes on to say the administrative office made numerous disbursements totaling $19,259 from a petty cash bank account which the School Board did not know existed.

To read the full audit, click the link above.

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