District earns 14th clean audit
District earns 14th clean audit
Posted on 04/01/2016

For the fourteenth consecutive year the Puyallup School District has received a clean audit from the Washington State Auditor’s Office.
 
The outstanding audit results were received during an exit conference on the final day of the audit. The review of district finances and business practices took place from the first week of January through the end of February.
 
The auditor’s report concluded that Puyallup has sound financial practices and complies with state laws and regulations, as well as its own policies and procedures, to protect taxpayers’ interests.
 
Long-time district staff members, Director of Business Services Laura Marcoe and Director of Accounting Heather Larson are credited with overseeing the sound financial practices the district has in place. They serve as the liaison between the auditors and staff to ensure the audit goes smoothly. They prepare staff for what to expect and ensure that they understand and follow district processes and procedures.
 
“We serve as the liaison so the staff understand what the audit is, what the auditors need, and that they are welcoming,” stated Marcoe.
 
Due to the sound financial business practices of the district – the eighth largest district in the state with more than 21,500 students – auditors review the district on federal funds yearly and perform the comprehensive audit for accountability every two years. This year the auditors reviewed both.
 
“Because of our positive audit history they only do the accountability portion in Puyallup every other year,” stated Marcoe.
 
The accountability review focused on bidding contracts, small and attractive assets, Associated Student Body (ASB) fundraising activities, open public meeting minutes, and the overall financial condition of the district.
  
“ASB fundraisers, for example, are reviewed because they generate a high volume of cash and the funds are generated by our students and families,” stated Larson, who has worked in the district for ten years. During the 2014-15 school year ASB generated over $2.4 million in revenue and $2.7 in expenditures.
 
This year’s review focused on Career and Technical Education (CTE) enrollment reporting and compliance, and an inventory of technology assets. The Federal funds portion of the audit looked at special education programs.
 
Marcoe, who has served in the Puyallup School District for nearly 20 years, attributes the long succession of clean state audits with year-round business practices and training. “We have processes in place that we review and edit throughout the year. We make sure people are adequately trained for compliance. They know what the compliance issues are,” said Marcoe.
 
“We take all those things very seriously and work with schools and departments to make sure they have the right process and procedures in place and they know what the expectations are,” she added.
 
The result of more than a decade of successful clean audits due to sound financial practices by the district provides stakeholders with confidence that fiscal responsibility is a high priority to the Puyallup School District.