Auditor will report year-end surplus to Sumter school board

BY BRUCE MILLS
bruce@theitem.com
Posted 12/3/17

Sumter School District's independent auditor will present last year's official audit report to the district's board of trustees Monday at the board's regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

District staff confirmed last week that Robin Poston of …

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Auditor will report year-end surplus to Sumter school board

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Sumter School District's independent auditor will present last year's official audit report to the district's board of trustees Monday at the board's regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

District staff confirmed last week that Robin Poston of Harper, Poston and Moree, P.A., in Georgetown will provide that Fiscal Year 2017 audit report briefing to the full board Monday.

The audit shows the district saved more than it spent last fiscal year by $779,230, according to district Chief Financial Officer Chris Griner. Griner provided the highlights of the audit report on Wednesday to the school board's Finance Committee, which consists of some board members and appointed private-business owners from the local community. Generally, with budgets and financial reports, the committee - which serves in an advisory role to the full board - receives information the week prior to the full board's regularly scheduled meetings.

The net income, or surplus, for fiscal 2017 - July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017 - was keyed by mid-year cost-savings measures implemented in January, Griner said.

The district's board of trustees didn't discover until Poston's official Fiscal Year 2016 audit report in December of last year that the district had overspent its budget in fiscal 2016 and finished with an annual net loss of almost $4.4 million that year, depleting its ending fund balance, or savings account, to $106,449.

District administration formed the original fiscal 2017 budget from the fiscal 2016 budget.

In January, the board hired an independent financial consultant to guide the district through its financial difficulties and adopted an emergency financial plan from then-Superintendent Frank Baker to try to end the year on better footing. That plan included eliminating 47 positions, cutting stipends and supply budgets and freezing various budget line items that amounted to $6.3 million in cash-preservation efforts.

Poston will also detail in her report that - with the $779,230 in net income for fiscal 2017 - the district's total ending fund balance, as of June 30, 2017, is $885,679.

Monday's board meeting will be at the district office, 1345 Wilson Hall Road, and is open to the public. Public participation is listed on the agenda.