School districts get low grades when it comes to using the correct spending codes

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Tom Wagner

Delaware’s school districts are getting low grades on the relatively simple bookkeeping task of using the right category code.

The audit of school districts from the office of State Auditor Tom Wagner found posting problems.

“The original intent of this engagement was to perform a comparative analysis of expenditures across the 19 school districts. However, as we attempted to analyze the data, we found widespread inconsistencies in the way the school districts coded expenditure transactions in the State’s accounting system, First State Financials (FSF),” the report stated. “Given the significance of this constraint, AOA (state auditor) shifted the objective of this engagement to reviewing payments that were not easily identifiable as benefitting students in the classroom.”

Cited as examples were boat dealer expenditures that were originally labeled as suspicious were supplies for a marine apprentice program. Also, purchases coded to categories such as table games and sports lottery were simply miscoded.

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The audit did find some questionable spending on state credit cards that included meals for non-state employees, flowers and gift cards.

School districts were advised to seek guidance from the state and work with one another on the coding issues.

Click on the link below for the full report:

Fiscal-Year-2016-School-District-Expenditures-Inspection
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