Trinity audit

February 8, 2013

Trinity Area School District was financially sound for the 2011-12 school year, a local auditing firm reported.

Cypher & Cypher presented its findings at Thursday’s school board meeting and gave the district an unqualified opinion on its audit – the highest award afforded on an audit.

Looking toward the future, “We’re in pretty good financial shape at this point,” said business manager Jim Shargots.

Financial highlights show the district’s fund balance was $3,973,803, with an unassigned fund balance of $2,557,118, according to the financial report.

The school district maintained a fund balance of approximately 6 percent of its total budget, which is the amount recommended by Cypher & Cypher.

“The last seven years have been very good, and we’ve stayed around 6 percent to 8 percent in the fund balance,” said Shargots.

Assigned reserves totaled $941,574, including $475,111 earmarked for health insurance and inventory.

In the future, Shargots noted rising costs for retirement, charter school and special education placements, along with decreased state and federal funding, could strain the district’s reserves.

“It’s becoming more and more difficult to maintain a fund balance because of lack of state funding and additional costs,” he said.

The audit revealed the cafeteria account lost $30,000. Shargots attributed some of the deficit to the purchase of new equipment and the inclusion of fresh fruit instead of canned fruit for lunches.

Cypher & Cypher recommended more timely deposits of extracurricular accounts.

The company also recommended the district review health insurance recipients to ensure that everyone on the district’s health insurance plan is eligible.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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