Natchez-Adams School District gets mostly clean audit

Published 1:36 am Thursday, April 13, 2017

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District recently received a mostly clean audit for fiscal year 2015-2016.

Natchez accounting firm Silas Simmons found the district’s financial statements represented the district’s financial situation accurately. Silas Simmons conducted the school district’s independent audit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.

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The district had no local or federal compliance issues, but two minor issues on the state level. One issue involving 16th section land dates back years and has on multiple occasions prevented the district from receiving a clean audit.

The district owns 16th section property that crosses county lines. When usage rights are sold on the property, a division of funds between different districts based on the number of students has to be created.

Silas Simmons CPA Timothy Byrd said all districts involved are aware of the issue and are working on correcting it.

The second issue involves expenditures being $53,780 over the budgeted amount, which was $28,968,960, while the actual expenditures were $29,022,740.

The district had unanticipated instructional costs that adjustments were not made for in time for the audit. The auditor’s recommendation is for management to review the budget to actual regularly during the year to ensure that the budgeted expenditure threshold is not surpassed.

“The district is aware,” Byrd said. “I am pretty sure this finding won’t be in there next year.”

Taking out the net pension liability effect, the district’s unrestricted net position is approximately $6.6 million. The pension liability is a General Accounting Standards Board rule put in place last year that requires government entities to report its share of the pension debt.

As of June 30, 2016, the estimated costs for the district including future costs and other actuarial assumptions for pension net liability is $45,755,763.

Byrd said compared to other districts he has seen, NASD has one of the strongest 16th section principal funds.

The value for the district’s investments is approximately $18.6 million as of June 30, 2016. Byrd said the figure is up approximately $200,000 higher than last year.

Sixteenth section land is set aside by the state for school districts. The district invests the money received from the land through leases for resource rights including hunting, timber or oil.

Deputy Superintendent Zandra McDonald thanked district Business Manager Monica Anderson and her team “for making certain the financial standing of the district is in good shape.”