Board cited for missing cash

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 2004

EUTAW – A state audit released Friday says the Greene County Board of Education needs to get a better handle on its cash – both in the administrative offices and at athletic events.

Dan Butler, a state-appointed financial officer working with the school system, said corrections have already been made.

According to the audit, released by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, the Greene County school board did not receipt cash in its central office, leading to missing money.

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“Procedures were not in place to ensure that all receipts… were deposited timely and intact,” the audit said. “Most receipts did not indicate whether the money received was in the form of check or cash.”

More disconcerting, to auditors, was that some “checks were receipted for a lesser amount than the check in order to cover cash that was not deposited.”

“In other instances, what appears to have been cash receipts were not deposited,” the audit finding continued. “It appeared that several pages of receipts were torn out of the receipt book, and those receipts were not properly processed.”

In all, auditors found that more than $4,300 in cash was unaccounted for, and the report said the Greene County Board of Education’s custodian of funds had already repaid the difference.

According to a response filed by Butler and the Greene County schools, the former custodian of funds has since retired. Butler also said the Alabama Department of Education has assigned financial experts to work with the BOE to reconcile bank statements, make timely deposits, and update all financial records. The state also has helped the BOE “correct numerous errors and oversights in the financial office that led to the findings of the Examiners.

Along with missing cash, auditors found problems with the amount of money the Greene County BOE took from a federal free breakfast and lunch program.

“Errors were made in the calculation of indirect costs to be paid from the Title I and Child Nutrition Programs,” the audit said.

Those calculation errors resulted in Greene County schools receiving about $37,000 more in federal aid than they should have received. However, the school system has already repaid that amount from its general fund and Butler said new procedures have been put in place to correctly calculate how much local schools should receive from federal programs.

Among other concerns noted by a state audit, the Greene County Board of Education has not completed a report of ticket sales for games held at Greene County High School.

“The number of issued, returned and sold tickets should be listed on the report and the report should be rechecked for accuracy and reconciled to amounts collected for each game,” auditors wrote.

Butler, again, said corrections have already been made and that reports are being sent to Superintendent Dr. Douglas Ragland and the financial office.