“A+!” UCS Receives Highest Possible Grade for Annual Audit
“A+!” UCS Receives Highest Possible Grade for Annual Audit
Posted on 10/26/2019
Cover of AuditAccording to the national auditing firm of Plante Moran, Utica Community Schools (UCS) has maintained its 16-year record of excellence in financial reporting.  The auditors found that through “A+ work” UCS has a structurally balanced budget.

Donna Hanson, CPA and partner in the auditing firm, said the district has for the 16th straight year received an audit that demonstrates strong financial controls and policies. 

“It is clear that the Utica Community Schools Board of Education and leadership are committed to meeting the highest level of fiscal accountability for their community,” Hanson said at the October 28 Board of Education meeting. “To use the language that you would be most familiar with, you have achieved A+ work.”

Utica Community Schools received an unmodified opinion with no findings – the highest level of assurance provided by a professional auditing firm, according to Hanson.

Hanson noted that the district’s finances are structurally balanced despite the fact that revenue levels – which are annually set by State lawmakers – have been well below the rate of inflation. 

She noted that the district continues to feel the impact of a $470 per pupil reduction approved by lawmakers in 2012. The cumulative effect of the reduction is $54.8 million. 

For the fiscal year 2018-2019, expenditures of $269 million were reported. Nearly 80 percent of the budget goes directly to instruction and instructional support. Hanson noted that UCS has one of the highest percentage of expenditures directly supporting teachers, paraprofessionals and the costs of classroom instruction among regional and comparable school districts.

“We understand that this community trusts and supports the school district to use public resources to achieve our educational mission,” Board President Dr. Robert Ross said. “This audit assures our residents that we will continue to maintain the highest standards in accountability and transparency.”

Revenue for the district is $275 million, primarily through state funding sources.  “We are committed to excellence and accountability in all that we do,” said Superintendent Christine Johns. “The financial professionals who work in our business office deserve congratulations and affirmation for work that is well done!  Like our teachers and staff members, they live out the mission and values of our district every day.”

Related Links
2019 Audit Presentation