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January 28. 2013 10:50PM

Audit results good news for Derry school district

DERRY - An independent audit of the previous school year showed the district to be in solid financial shape.

According to Cheryl Stevens Burke of the firm Melanson Heath, the town has solid accounting practices and there was no need for a management letter to the district outlining potential issues.

"A huge part of the audit process is to look at how (the) process for transactions and how data flows through (the) system," Burke said.

The audit also looks to see if the district has systems in place to protect its assets.

"Typically, as a result of that review there could be something called a management letter," Burke said. "A management letter is a by-product of the whole process. If there is an issue we notice, we would need to prepare a report, and this year there were no issues which were required to be reported."

In addition to looking at the accounting practices used by the district, the audit also looks at its long-term financial position. Burke said the auditors look at items such as capital items, net depreciation and long-term liabilities, such as bonds.

The audit shows that for the fiscal year ending June 30, the district had an unreserved fund balance of $3,578,072. That unreserved fund balance gets returned to the town coffers

Overall, Burke said the district ended the year with a net positive general fund balance of $3,199,308.

"That means the district ended the year in a really good position relative to the budget," said Burke.

Superintendent Laura Nelson praised the efforts of the district's finance department in keeping its books in good shape.

"It's always wonderful when a school audit can come in and have no findings," she said. "Being new to the position, it was important for me as a superintendent to come into a district that had solid financial systems in place and had provisions where there is an accountant on staff. We are working with a nearly $80 million of the town's budget and that makes us one of the biggest businesses in Derry."


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