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Audit says cash controls deficient at TUSD schools

A financial audit of fiscal 2007-08 for Tucson Unified School District shows violations in local school site cash controls, the maintenance of personnel time logs and some after-the-fact purchase orders.

The audit was done by Heinfeld, Meech & Co. P.C. in Tucson.

TUSD Chief Financial Officer, Bonnie Betz said “all of the identified financial deficiencies are continuing problems related to Tucson Unified’s lack of automation and its paper-driven processes.

“A year ago at this time, the fairly new Audit Committee was having discussions with me as the newly appointed director of finance regarding these very same issues,” Betz said.

“It was these discussions that led to several process changes implemented in the fiscal year 2008-09 school year,” she said. “This audit is related to fiscal year 2007-08.”

The auditing firm said it didn’t find any instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.

Specific findings, based on spot checks of a handful of students or of record-keeping at various schools, include:

• Cash receipts were not always deposited intact daily, when significant, or at least weekly;

• Bank accounts were not always reconciled monthly by an employee not involved in handling cash receipts or disbursements.

• The district didn’t update stewardship and capital assets lists at least annually for acquisitions and disposals.

• Purchase orders were not always prepared before the goods or services were received.

• Equipment was not always marked with an identifying number.

• Funds received by the district were not always deposited with the county treasurer at least monthly.

• Written price quotes from at least three vendors were not always obtained by the district before making purchases costing at least $15,000.

• Time sheets or other attendance records were not always prepared for each hourly employee for each pay period.

• District attendance records for students didn’t always match numbers provided to the state Department of Education.

• Auxiliary operations funds did not always include all money raised in connection with activities of school bookstores and athletics.

• Reports were not always prepared that reconciled sales to cash collected at student activities.

Some of the schools involved in the audit include Sam Hughes Elementary, Catalina Magnet High, Cholla High Magnet and Rincon, Sahuaro and Sabino high schools.

To see a copy of the entire audit, visit the TUSD Web site at www.tusd1.org.

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